The History of Prayer in America

One Nation Under God

The History of Prayer in America

Author: James P. Moore Jr.
Review By: G. Stephen Goode

Friends in the Swiss government gave me this important review of American history and the foundational role that prayer has played in shaping and forming us as a people as well as the government of the United States of America. 

James P. Moore Jr. has done an incredible job of writing this book and compiling resources from thousands of different sources on the history of prayer in America. Before writing this book, Mr. Moore looked for equivalent writings and the role and significance of prayer on American history and he could find none. So after seven years of writing this manuscript, he unearthed "a marvelous, hidden treasure chest." I agree and I would highly recommend this book as a treasured resource that I will continue to refer to in the coming years. 

Mr. Moore puts prayer right at the center as he looks at history, faith, politics, literature, arts, entertainment, culture, music, sports, etc. in America. He says in his prologue on page xi, "Quite frankly, the story of American prayer is so powerful that it does not need to rely on anything but historic fact and reasonable interpretation. "

He recounts 16 periods of time in American history, primary themes and events during those times and within each, the key importance of prayer. He says it best himself in his introduction on page xxiii, " If American history can be likened to a great musical composition, prayer must be seen as an integral and powerful theme throughout the piece. At times it is softer; louder at others. It has its own rhythm, it own pulse. It is always there, fundamentally contributing to whatever melody may be playing." As Mr. Moore recounts in his introduction, G.K Chesterton's words on the vibrant spirituality and prayer life of the country, he wrote, " America is a nation with the soul of a church."

He meanders from before the early inhabitants up through the second term of George W. Bush. If you want to learn more about the past, present and the potential future of America, this book on the life of prayer is a good starting point.

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