America's first call to prayer at a government meeting

In the debate over whether prayer should be offered in the Senate and House, state governments, county meetings of supervisors, and city councils (and even in public schools), it is good to remember that such prayers have a long history in this country – all the way back to the first government meeting ever held in America on July 30, 1619 (before the Mayflower got here).  King James granted the Charter for the Virginia Company.  Then the earliest government was established along these lines: Sir George Yeardley and his council were approved of by the king.  The House of Burgesses were elected out of every incorporation and plantation.  Before business progressed too far, the assembled men – meeting in the church – asked Minister Buck to say the prayer.  He asked for prayer for the earthly head of the church of England (the king), which fulfills Scripture in 1 Timothy 2:1-2

Here is a modern transcription: 

But for as much as men's affairs do little prosper where God's service is neglected, all the Burgesses took their places in the Quire till a prayer was said by MR. BUCK, the Minister, that it would please God to guide us and sanctify all our proceedings to his own glory and the good of this plantation [of Virginia]; prayer being ended to the intent that we had begun at God Almighty so we might proceed with awful [awesome] and due respect towards his Lieutenant, our most gracious and dread Sovereign [KING JAMES], all the Burgesses were entreated to retire themselves into the body of the Church;

Poet Alexander Pope: "Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined" – or more popularly today, "As the twig is bent, so grows the tree."  That is, history and tradition count.  They can shape the ethos and character of a nation.  We have always been and must remain a prayerful nation, in private and in public.  As always, eternal vigilance is needed to protect (or win back) our right to offer prayers at all the various government assemblies, even at schools. 

James Arlandson's Website is Live as Free People, where he has Posted You Are There! America's First Government Meeting, July 30, 1619.

In the debate over whether prayer should be offered in the Senate and House, state governments, county meetings of supervisors, and city councils (and even in public schools), it is good to remember that such prayers have a long history in this country – all the way back to the first government meeting ever held in America on July 30, 1619 (before the Mayflower got here).  King James granted the Charter for the Virginia Company.  Then the earliest government was established along these lines: Sir George Yeardley and his council were approved of by the king.  The House of Burgesses were elected out of every incorporation and plantation.  Before business progressed too far, the assembled men – meeting in the church – asked Minister Buck to say the prayer.  He asked for prayer for the earthly head of the church of England (the king), which fulfills Scripture in 1 Timothy 2:1-2

Here is a modern transcription: 

But for as much as men's affairs do little prosper where God's service is neglected, all the Burgesses took their places in the Quire till a prayer was said by MR. BUCK, the Minister, that it would please God to guide us and sanctify all our proceedings to his own glory and the good of this plantation [of Virginia]; prayer being ended to the intent that we had begun at God Almighty so we might proceed with awful [awesome] and due respect towards his Lieutenant, our most gracious and dread Sovereign [KING JAMES], all the Burgesses were entreated to retire themselves into the body of the Church;

Poet Alexander Pope: "Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined" – or more popularly today, "As the twig is bent, so grows the tree."  That is, history and tradition count.  They can shape the ethos and character of a nation.  We have always been and must remain a prayerful nation, in private and in public.  As always, eternal vigilance is needed to protect (or win back) our right to offer prayers at all the various government assemblies, even at schools. 

James Arlandson's Website is Live as Free People, where he has Posted You Are There! America's First Government Meeting, July 30, 1619.