Derek Prince - At The Source Of The History Of The USA Is Collective Prayer and Fasting
This is a clip from the full sermon: Self-Humbling Through Fasting
Then there’s Ezra and the returning exiles. Ezra 8:21–23. Now Ezra was commissioned by the King of Persia to lead a company of Jewish exiles returning from Babylon to Jerusalem. It’s a long journey, again amidst very unruly savage tribes. It’s a dangerous journey and Ezra had not only the wives and the children, but he had all the precious vessels from the temple. Now his question was, "How are we to be protected"? He said, "I could have asked the king for an escort of soldiers and horsemen, but I had been telling the king that our God takes care of those who serve Him". That’s the problem about testifying, then you have to live up to your testimony. That’s one reason for testifying.
So this is what happened. Ezra 8:21 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, "The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him". So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer. They came through safely. They didn’t lose a person. They didn’t lose anything.
Now, all you well-educated Americans will know what I’m going to tell you. But being British I made a discovery. I discovered that right at the source of the history of this nation is united collective prayer and fasting. Did you know that? It was a shocking discovery to me. Because you know, for the English people, the pilgrims were really drop-outs. They just sailed west and dropped out of British history. And that’s about all I know of the pilgrims. But I believe it was 1973, I don’t remember exactly, John Tolcott who I believe is going to be here with us, he’s Mr. Plymouth, Massachusetts, invited me to go to Plymouth and conduct some memorial services celebrating the two hundred fiftieth anniversary of the landing of the pilgrims.
Well, I thought, that’s a great honor. But I thought I’d better find out something about the pilgrims. So I did a little research and I discovered that I now know more about the pilgrims than most Americans. In fact, when I began to share what I discovered in congregations across this nation, most of the people had never even heard of the people I was talking about. It’s absolutely shocking how the forces of the enemy have kept the American people ignorant of their own origin.
I’m going to read a little to you now and I’m going to boast a little bit about Cambridge. There isn’t much to boast about in Cambridge, but I’m from Cambridge. You know I was a student and scholar and a fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. I’m reading now from my little book 'Shaping History Through Prayer And Fasting' Having obtained my own degrees in the University of Cambridge, and having held a fellowship at King’s College, Cambridge, I was particularly interested to see how many of the pilgrims’ spiritual leaders had received their education at Cambridge.
Now, I think most of the people in Cambridge don’t have any clue to this fact. Three of those most closely associated with the pilgrim’s story were Richard Clyfton, John Robinson, and William Brewster. Clyfton was the elder of the original congregation at Scrooby, in England. Robinson was the elder of the pilgrims’ congregation at Leiden, in Holland [where they had to go to maintain religious liberty]. Brewster was the elder who actually traveled over on the Mayflower... All three of these men received their education at Cambridge. I mean, Cambridge has no idea about this. They don’t know. And most Americans don’t know. Here I am from Cambridge and I’ve become slightly proud of Cambridge in the light of that. There’s very little else to be proud about.
Now, John Robinson was the one who went with the pilgrims to Holland where they found religious protection and they were free to practice, which they were not free in England at that time. When they were in Leiden and they were planning to set out, and they went by way of Plymouth in England to this continent, before they left Leyden they had a collective day of prayer and fasting. The whole congregation, men, women and children. And this is the end of Robinson’s address as given by Verna Hall in her Christian History of the Constitution. This is what Robinson told these people. We are now ere long to part [I feel so much of the emotion that they felt at this time].
We are now ere long to part asunder, and the Lord knoweth whether he [Robinson] should live to see our face again. But whether the Lord had appointed it or not, he charged us before God and His blessed angels to follow him no further than he followed Christ; and if God should reveal anything to us by any other instrument of His, to be ready to receive it, as ever we were to receive any truth by his ministry; for he was very confident the Lord had more truth and light yet to break forth out of His holy Word. I like that attitude. Don't you? We don’t know it all. There’s more to that. They had a day of solemn day of prayer and fasting. Got on the ship and set sail, and ended up by way of Plymouth, England, in Plymouth, Massachusetts. In many ways that was the seed out of which this great nation has grown. I think in many ways it’s time to return to your roots, to realize there were other forces at work. There were occult powers that were also at work. But nevertheless, this was the main stream of the life of this nation from its source.