I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath & doubting. (Timothy 2:8)
America, Given to God
by Kristen Nicole Lucas
ON A SUNNY SATURDAY AFTERNOON, those attending the second annual School Leadership Conference took a tour that every Christian should experience. Growing up in Virginia, I had visited Cape Henry a few times before, but never had it meant so much to me as it did on this day. Here, the shore comes to a point and jets out where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Chesapeake Bay. I knew it was part of my American Christian heritage, but, I had not recognized it as the culmination of events leading up to our providential place in His Story.
According to a written account by local historian Jane Bauder, America was consecrated to God hundreds of years prior to the First Landing in 1607. As early as 555 A.D., evangelists came to the New World in hopes of sharing the Gospel with the inhabitants of this uncharted territory. Voyagers from the Celtic church were followed by Christian Icelanders. Welsh Christians came in the I200s, 1400s, and 1500s. In the early 1500s a Christian explorer from Bristol, Sebastian Cabot, mapped the entire East Coast of North America and claimed it for England to evangelize. In 1575, the Hakluyt cousins were called by_God to colonize North America and use the land as a base to fulfill the Great Commission. Sir Francis Drake consecrated the West Coast to God in 1580, naming the continent “New Land of Righteousness.” In 1603, Rev. Robert Hunt met the youngest Hakluyt cousin who was still determined to keep his commitment. And after many attempts, the Virginia Company, backed by a private Christian business in London, sailed for the New Land in 1606.:
I listened eagerly to historian Roy Allan Dudley’s account of the First Landing as we stood at the Cape Henry memorial, a cross made to replicate the one settlers erected on this beach in 1607. After 39 unsuccessful European attempts to establish a colony, Rev. Robert Hunt and 104 others landed on the beach at Cape Henry. Eager to learn what lay beyond the shore, they set out to find gold without giving thanks to God or praying over the land. One day after their arrival, two men were shot by Indians. The company then realized their next course of action.
Led by Rev. Robert Hunt, the colonists followed the example in Nehemiah 12 with a Godly dedication. They worshipped, fasted, asked for forgiveness and dedicated Virginia-America, (at the time all of North America) to God. They erected a cross and held a service that included the reading of Deuteronomy 8.
America was first consecrated to God by Christians who landed on our shores before 1607. Consecration placed a hold on the land and set it apart for a sacred purpose. It was not until 1607 when the settlers dedicated (solemnly devoted, totally giving a person or thing to God) the land that its purpose came to fruition. This is profound. We are so blessed as a nation and many have no idea of the source of that blessing.
This land is His. Yes, he is Sovereign over all nations, but particularly America: only two nations in the history of the world have dedicated their land at the inception of their nation—Israel and America. When the Virginia settlers stood at Cape Henry and dedicated this land to God, they left us with an enormous responsibility to learn and remember His Word, to make sure that each generation grasps the gravity of our history. Like Hakluyt and Rev. Robert Hunt, the small group of Principle Approach leaders standing at this sacred place knew they had been called to teach His Truth, His Story, and His plan for America. On the beach our group, small in number but strong in the power of faith, had our own re-dedication ceremony. We placed a small cross in the sand and together spoke Rev. Robert Hunt’s prayer over America. Given by Parson and Minister of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ Robert Hunt, April 29, 1607 at Cape Henry, Virginia-America [now Virginia Beach, Virginia]
We do hereby Dedicate this Land, and ourselves, to reach the People within these shores with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to raise up Godly generations after us, and with these generations take the Kingdom of God to all the earth.
May this Covenant of Dedication remain to all generations, as long as this earth remains, and may this Land, along with England, be Evangelist to the World.
May all who see this Cross, remember what we have done here, and may those who come here to inhabit join us in this Covenant and in this most noble work that the Holy Scriptures may be fulfilled.
Psalm 22:27-28 “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to The Lord, and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee. For the Kingdom is The Lord’s and He is the Governor among the nations.”
Let us pray: ALMIGHTY AND MERCIFUL GOD, let us never stray from the Commission to which Thou has Called us—to bring the inhabitants of this Land to the knowledge of Thy Kingdom. Help us to be bearers of Thy Truth to those who so sorely need to receive it. Hasten the day, Oh God, when the knowledge of Thy Son shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. And even if we should fall short in Thy Calling, Thou shalt stir up our children after us and bestow upon them this blessed Land. Let us add our mite to the Treasury of Heaven.
Use us, Oh God, weak instruments as we are, for the building up of Thy Kingdom which shall be gathered from all corners of the earth. Let it be said that God has made His ways known upon earth and His saving help among all nations. In the Name of our Holy Savior, Amen. (Modern English paraphrase provided by Jane Bauder)
After we prayed the prayers of our forefathers, we interceded for America today. It was a sobering experience to think that almost four hundred years ago, after much delay, agony, and prayer, settlers landed here and dedicated our nation to God—and we still carry that blessing. Perhaps what we set out to accomplish in our culture today seems out of reach (Principle Approach education for the next generation is certainly a lofty ideal). But, we come from a heritage of people who sought after the unreachable. If we give our children the knowledge of the Word, teach them their history, and remain in prayer, He will not forget us and He will bless the generations. Our country will continue to be a catalyst to fulfill the Great Commission. Please contribute to the future of America by supporting the mission that has eternal reward.*
1 “America, Dedicated to God.” by Jane Bauder.