They Should Have Listened to Ben Franklin

TIME for Kids | Benjamin Franklin

Here is something we should have done, but didn’t.

At the Constitutional Convention on June 28, 1787, after some fairly acrimonious debate on a variety of subjects, Benjamin Franklin offered a motion:

“I therefore beg leave to move–that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city [Philadelphia] be requested to officiate in that service” (

The motion failed. The Convention had no funds to pay a clergyman, was the reason given.

I am reminded of Psalm 127: “Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”

We had a chance to ask the Lord to build the house, right at the beginning; and we didn’t take it. As if they couldn’t have found a clergyman to do it for free.

Now our country is in a crisis of trust, with runaway corruption, cynical power-grabs, high uncertainty as to the future of our republic, and things said and done that would have been unthinkable in Franklin’s time.

Because we relied upon our sinful selves.

May we turn to earnest prayer, and hope that late is better than never.

8 comments on “They Should Have Listened to Ben Franklin

  1. Wow! I didn’t know that Dr. Franklin asked for this. I think of Jerry Nadler’s rash statement about the will of God and cringe.

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