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FERVENT PRAYER



George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, future US Presidents, were among the delegates meeting at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia, on March 23, 1775, considering a resolution sending Virginia troops to the Revolutionary War. The Virginia House of Burgesses was unconvinced. Finally, Patrick Henry spoke. He concluded:



"What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"



Reportedly, those in attendance, upon hearing the speech, also shouted, "Give me liberty or give me death!"



That passionate speech is credited with turning the tide. It is one of the most passionate lines from the American Revolution. It changed the course of history.



That line reminds me of a passionate prayer, prayed over 200 years earlier. John Knox prayed "Give me Scotland or I die."



John Knox was described as low in stature and of a weakly constitution. A contemporary, Mr. Thomas Smeaton, said, "I know not if God ever placed a more godly and great spirit in a body so little and frail."



When that frail body went to his knees, Mary, Queen of Scots, trembled. She said she feared the prayers of John Knox more than the combined armies of Europe.



Larry Christenson in his book, The Christian Family, says John Knox prayed with such power that all Scotland was awakened. He goes so far as to attribute the whole reformation of Scotland to Knox's prayers. He writes, "'Lord, Give me Scotland or I'll die!' [Knox] cried. And he prayed with such intensity that the Lord answered."

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