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In 1747, Benjamin Franklin organized the "Philadelphia Associators." This was a volunteer militia for the protection of the city. Colonel John Cadwalader was elected its senior officer in 1776.

In December of 1776, Cadwalader and his volunteer militia were stationed 10 miles south of Trenton, New Jersey. They were on the west side of the Delaware River, at the ferry between Bristol, Pennsylvania and Burlington, New Jersey. Colonel Cadwalader had received orders to send his men across the river on Christmas Day and approach Trenton from the south. In the meantime, Washington and his men would advance on Trenton from the north.

Cadwalader was able to cross some of his troops. However, he was unable to advance his artillery due to the ice in the river. The ice was too thick to use boats and too thin to cross on foot. In frustration, the Colonel returned his men to camp in Pennsylvania to PRAY for their Commander in Chief and his unsupported army in New Jersey.

We know, of course, that Washington surprised and defeated the Hessian garrison with minimal casualties. I wonder. . . Did Washington win the conflict merely on the basis of stealth? How about "good luck"? Maybe it was his superior military strategy. Or, could it have been that a group of soldiers was on its knees in prayer for their comrades?

This reminds me of Israel battling the Amalakites in Exodus 17:8-13. Joshua took the warriors into the valley to fight. Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up onto the mountain to pray. When Moses' hands were up, the Hebrews prevailed. When he lowered them, they failed. Aaron and Hur supported Moses' arms which was supernatural support for their army. Who caused that victory? Was it the soldiers or the prayer of Moses? If you said, "Both" you are right!

We have a part to play and God has a part to play. Let's remember to do ours and ask God to do his. Victory follows!

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