Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861-1865. He led the nation through the American Civil War, the greatest time of division and turmoil in American history. Among other successes, he was able to bring an end to The Civil War, preserve the Union, abolish slavery, and bolster the nation’s economy. Was his political experience and past successes the reason he was such a successful president? Not hardly, Lincoln was faced with defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown. However, he did learn from his failures, he was a champion who refused to quit, a man who let his failures refine him rather than define him. Those God-directed failures certainly taught him numerous lessons that he could apply to his time as President. The key to this man’s life is that he recognized the providence of God at work in the nation’s history and in his own life. His wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, observed the President’s deep devotion and reliance upon God saying:
“When Mr. Lincoln became elevated to Office—with the care of a great Nation, upon his shoulders—when devastating war was upon us—then indeed to my own knowledge—did his great heart go up daily, hourly, in prayer to God—for His sustaining power.”
President Abraham Lincoln’s success as president was not found in the Oval Office, it was found on his knees in a prayer closet. Speaking about prayer Mr. Lincoln said, “Let us diligently apply the means, never doubting that a just God, in his own good time, will give us the rightful result.”
Our country may never again experience a president like Abraham Lincoln. However, we must know where the candidates stand on moral and spiritual issues. We need to compare their beliefs and their past experiences to Biblical principles, voting for those who “measure up” to those principles. We must pray and fast for this all important election, seeking God’s will and intervention during this crucial time in American history.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place” (2 Chronicles 7:14-15).