The WallBuilders Show

Answers to Prayer and Fasting, part 3

May 13, 2024 Tim Barton, David Barton & Rick Green
Answers to Prayer and Fasting, part 3
The WallBuilders Show
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The WallBuilders Show
Answers to Prayer and Fasting, part 3
May 13, 2024
Tim Barton, David Barton & Rick Green

Embark on a historical voyage with David Barton, America's premier historian, as we uncover the profound influence of prayer and fasting during the American Revolution. Unveil the tales of fervent faith and providential storms that shaped battles and bolstered the spirits of a fledgling nation. From lesser-known victories aboard ships to the miraculous fog that saved Washington's troops at the Battle of Long Island, these narratives are not merely chronicles of warfare, but testaments to the deep spiritual convictions of our forebears.

As we navigate through the icy waters of the Delaware River, the miracle at the Battle of Trenton looms into view. Hear how General Washington's audacious Christmas attack on the Hessians, aided by the cloak of a severe winter storm, turned the tides of war and reinvigorated a weary Continental Army. These moments weren't just military maneuvers; they were synchronized steps in a divinely choreographed dance of victory and hope.

Concluding our journey, we reflect on the transformative power of prayer and fasting in the birth of a nation. We call upon modern-day patriots to carry the torch of our founders. At, we offer resources to fuel personal growth and community engagement—because the legacy of liberty is a flame that must be kept alive across generations. Join us as we honor the past and chart a course for the future, standing firm on the foundation of faith that has sustained us through centuries.

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Embark on a historical voyage with David Barton, America's premier historian, as we uncover the profound influence of prayer and fasting during the American Revolution. Unveil the tales of fervent faith and providential storms that shaped battles and bolstered the spirits of a fledgling nation. From lesser-known victories aboard ships to the miraculous fog that saved Washington's troops at the Battle of Long Island, these narratives are not merely chronicles of warfare, but testaments to the deep spiritual convictions of our forebears.

As we navigate through the icy waters of the Delaware River, the miracle at the Battle of Trenton looms into view. Hear how General Washington's audacious Christmas attack on the Hessians, aided by the cloak of a severe winter storm, turned the tides of war and reinvigorated a weary Continental Army. These moments weren't just military maneuvers; they were synchronized steps in a divinely choreographed dance of victory and hope.

Concluding our journey, we reflect on the transformative power of prayer and fasting in the birth of a nation. We call upon modern-day patriots to carry the torch of our founders. At, we offer resources to fuel personal growth and community engagement—because the legacy of liberty is a flame that must be kept alive across generations. Join us as we honor the past and chart a course for the future, standing firm on the foundation of faith that has sustained us through centuries.

Support the Show.

Rick Green

Welcome to The WallBuilders Show. I'm Rick Green, America's Constitution Coach, with David Barton and Tim Barton. Tim's the National Speaker and Pastor and President of Wall Builders. David is America's premier historian and today we're going to be hearing from David actually the conclusion of a presentation we started last week. It's called Answers to Prayer and Fasting. We started last Thursday. If you missed Thursday and Friday of last week, be sure and go to That's That's where you can quickly listen to programs from the last few weeks and we're just going to pick up right where we left off on Friday. So here's David Barton teaching on Answers to Prayer and Fasting.

David Barton

If you go to Smithsonian Museum of DC, go up on the third floor. You can see the gunboat Philadelphia. It's a rowboat with a cannon in each end and we just captured a 64-gun British man-of-war. Now what happened? John said you know, a bunch of us are sitting around in a tavern talking about what we're seeing, and so they're sitting there eating a meal and talking. He said and here's the conclusion of this. He said one of the guys said it really well. He says it appears to me the eternal son of God is operating powerfully against the British nation. Yeah, I'd say so again, time of fasting and prayer, unbelievable results that came as a result. And so this is the way that they talked about it. So when you look at that point in time, congress issues so many calls to fasting and prayer. I mean, there's time after time throughout the revolution, and you'll see here it's a time of fasting, humiliation, prayer to Almighty God. This was a part of who we were as a people, this is part of the way Christians grew up, this is part of our life, and I'll show you three other examples of the American Revolution, of miracles that God performed after some of these times of fasting and prayer.

If you go to the Battle of Long Island, this happened only four weeks after we signed the Declaration, so we still don't have a military, it's still a bunch of volunteers taking on the British and we got our clock cleaned in that battle. That was a huge loss and a British historian he kind of recorded what it looked like. But we're up in New York City area where we were backed up against the river and the problem was there were 30,000 British soldiers, there were 9,000 American soldiers. Now that might not be an issue today if we had special forces, but back then everybody had a single shot, shot musket and everybody took them 15 to 20 seconds to reload. So when you've got 30,000 bullets coming at 9,000 bullets and everybody's got just a single shot, you got a real problem here. Numbers were the difference back at that point in time. And so what happened was the British backed us up against the river. You can see the river back there. They backed us up against the river. We can't get away. George Washington is in command there. He's about to be captured or killed with the rest of them. This is going to be the end of the War of Independence- Four weeks and it's over.

And so what happened? General Howe had them backed up the river and General Howe, for whatever reason, decided not to finish them off. Now that's a really silly thing. Militarily wise, if you have your foot on the neck of an enemy, you take them out when you got them, you don't give them a second chance. For two days he didn't do anything. He said we got us surrounded. They can't go anywhere. They're not going to do anything, we'll demoralize them. And so what he decided is we're going to.

We have the British fleet back up the river, a bit out in the harbor, so we're going to send them in. Come up behind them and when they see, all those cannons behind them, those 105 gun British men of wars, 105 cannons pointing on each ship at them from behind. And they see 30,000 of us over here. They'll absolutely surrender, it'll be over. So he sent word to the ships.

The ship started coming up the river and, lo and behold, a storm stood up on the river itself. And the storm was so bad they could not get a single ship up the river. The more they tried, the harder the wind got and the worse the storm got. Now Washington understands what's happening here, and so he tells his guys, you go out and find anything that floats. If it floats, bring it here. We're going to get our troops over on the other side. And so they do that. They start looking for anything.

And that night, as the British ships are still trying to come up and the wind is so bad, they start launching these guys out. And there were 9,000 there. And Washington made the pledge. He said I'm going to be the last guy and last boat going over. I'm not going to be the first over, I'll be the last over. Everybody gets off the island before gets off the before I do so he's sending them out and they're going across all night. They're, they're, they're heading out boat after boat after boat.

And it's interesting, at about 11 o'clock that night, when it was too dark for the British ships to come up, the wind turned around and got behind our boats and started blowing them across the river on the other side. So the British can't do anything now. Now the wind's behind our guys, just throwing them on the other side. And so, as morning comes, the next morning, morning arrives, and as soon as the sun comes up in the British Sea, what's happening? They're going to attack and that's going to be it. When morning came, there were still a thousand Americans that had not been evacuated off the on the other side of the river, and Washington was one of them. So as soon as the sun comes up those guys are done. Except when the sun came up, a massive fog came up with it and the British couldn't see anything.

Benjamin Talmadge he was the head spymaster for Washington. He's the guy who assembled all the intelligence. He wrote about it. He said, a very dense fog began to rise and it seemed to settle in a peculiar manner over both encampments. I recollect this peculiar, providential occurrence perfectly well. And so very dense was the atmosphere that I could scarcely discern a man at six yards distance from here to the door of the saloon, I couldn't see anybody. Now you got the British out there at about 30 yards distance, safe, safe range for guns. And they're out there, 30, 60, 80. They can't see a thing. That's going on in the American camp.

And so the Americans continue to, to, to get these guys out there under the fog and the British don't know what's happening. And it wasn't just the fog. There was something else interesting that happened with that. When Washington the night before started sending the boats across, there were a lot of loyalist families in New York and the loyalist means they supported the British, not the Americans. They're Americans but they support the British, not the Americans. And one of the loyalist families saw what Washington was doing getting all these boats going on the other side and they're escaping. And General Howe's got them, but he doesn't know that they're escaping. And so they sent one of their servants to let General Howe know that Washington is escaping. Right now you need to get down to the beaches. Right now you need to stop because he's getting up. And so that servant, he's able to navigate, get by the Americans and he gets over to the British lines and he heads for the British camps and he's going to deliver the message. And as he's headed for the British camps, he's stopped by two Hessian soldiers.

Now Hessians are German-speaking mercenaries that the English hired from Germany to fight against us. They were the special forces kind of guys in that war. So the Hessians, but they didn't speak English. So this guy's trying to take a message in the British lines and these two Hessians stop him, ask him what are you doing? But they're speaking in German. He doesn't speak German, they don't speak English. He says I've got a message for your superiors give me there and they don't know what he's saying. So they just throw him in the brig for the night. They just they throw him in because we don't know what you're saying. But in in the morning there's an English-German-speaking officer that will come in.

And so next morning this guy is in the hold there and the British officer comes in and says hey, anything happen last night, I don't know. But this guy, we don't know what he's doing. And so the English officer goes over to him and says what's the deal? He says I've been trying to tell you all night Washington is escaping, he's going across the river, he's getting to the other side. You guys have got to stop him. And so the British soldier panics and he goes and lets the command know and they go rushing down to the shore just in time for the fog to lift and they see Washington standing on the other shore.

So it's kind of interesting that all that had been but that's a pretty significant miracle Probably didn't appear in your American history textbooks. See, we've gone so secular in recent years. We don't even understand how God takes a role in the affairs of men. Let me give you a second one. Divine intervention there, the second one I'd point you to is the Battle of Trenton. Battle of Trenton happened at the last part of 1776, not long after New York, a few months after New York, and what happened at that point in time was we've been getting our clock clean. We have a whole bunch of defeats. Washington lost the Battle of Long Island, the Battle of Kips Bay. He lost the Battle of White Plains. He lost the Battle of Fort. Washington lost the Battle of Fort Lee. He lost the Battle of New York. Losing all these battles.

We have a total volunteer army and the enlistments were about a year. So you would go volunteer, you'd serve for a year and you'd be out. The enlistments go up at the end of December, December 31st enlistment trial. Who wants to reenlist in a loser? And that's what we've been. I mean, there's no incentive to reenlist. And so the problem Washington had was reenlistments were low, desertions were high and morale was super low. And here we are in December, we're coming to needing new soldiers to fight next year and we're not getting them. And so Washington decided he needed to do something really bold, somehow come up with a victory at the end of the year that they could, could turn things around. And so what happens is he decides why don't we attack the Hessian stronghold at Trenton? Now there were 1,200 Hessian troops there and, as I mentioned, these are the special forces kind of guys. He said if we can take down British special forces, the Hessians, that will be a big signal. And so Washington decides they'll do that.

And the Hessians were Germans, which meant they celebrated Christmas. And Luther, they're Lutherans, they celebrate Christmas. And you may not know this American history wise, but up until 1868 in New England it was illegal to celebrate Christmas in New England till 1868. The reason was Christmas was seen as a holiday of the state established church. Back in England they said you will celebrate Christmas and here's how you're going to do it. And they said we want no part of that, we want choices. We don't want the state telling us what to celebrate. And so at the time of the American Revolution, tons of Americans didn't celebrate Christmas at all. But the Lutherans did, Luther did, and part of the celebration included festivities and drinking, et cetera.

And Washington says you know, if we can attack them the morning after Christmas, the day after Christmas, we got a good shot of doing something here. So he makes the plans, Washington sets it all up and he's going to take his troops across the Delaware. He wants them on the other side by midnight. Then they're going to have to march 10 miles. He'll have them set up at five in the morning. He's going to have them set up outside the Hessian barracks and when Hessians wake up they're going to be looking down. The barrels of 5,400 guns is what he had planned.

It didn't go the way he planned, so that midnight crossing actually General Henry Knox was in charge of that crossing and as they started crossing a lot of things did not work right. Among other things, he had 5,400 troops and he had all these cannons to get across on these, these rafts and these boats. And as they start the crossing they get into solid ice and ice flows, and it is so dark, the cloud cover is so dark that the guys guiding the boats can't even see the other side and they can't figure out how to navigate these ice flows and get the other side. And so it's a super slow process. Hold the lantern in front of the boat and, oh, dodge that one, and, and so it's just not what they expected. So, as this thing is going, they at 4 o'clock now Washington wanted them all over by midnight. At 4 o'clock they're still not even half over. He says look, we've got to take what we've got and we're going to have to move with that. So he took the 2,400 troops that they had and they start moving toward Trenton.

As they advanced toward Trenton all night in the dark they had 10 miles to march. Now it was really brutal. And we actually have letters from the British generals who said there's no way Washington's going to attack us because most of his troops don't even have shoes. They said we've been following the American army by the bloody footprints in the snow. So they don't have jackets, they don't have coats. It's just really a bad deal, a bad situation.

And so these guys are marching 10 miles in the snow and as they're marching that 10 mile march, they get into a. It was already cold, but now they get into a brutal blizzard and storm. It starts storming on them, starts hailing on them, they get lightning with the hail, the gale force wind. It is really. It is so brutal that on the march, while they were marching, two of the Americans froze to death while they were moving on the march. That is brutal weather when you freeze to death while you're moving. So you know, from the American standpoint none of this is working right.


But what they didn't understand was the weather was so bad that it drove every single Hessian indoors. Nobody's going to stay out in this kind of weather and nobody's going to attack, so there was not a single guard outside that entire post to see what was going on. Washington arrives there about 8 am in the morning, he gets his troops all lined up he's hours late, but it doesn't matter because there's no Hessians anywhere at all and so he starts the attack at eight o'clock. It is an absolute, complete surprise. Hessians had no clue anything was going on. The entire battle lasted only a total of 35 minutes and it was a lopsided victory. I mean, it wasn't even close to being a battle. The result was on the British side there were 20 soldiers killed, there were 100 wounded and there were 1,000 that surrendered as prisoners of war. On the American side you had a total of three wounded, and that was the whole battle.

Rick Green

Stay with us folks. We've got a quick break. Here. You are listening to the WallBuilders Show.



Rick Green

Welcome back to the WallBuilders Show. I'm Rick Green, America's Constitution Coach. We're listening to David Barton teach on answers to prayer and fasting and this is going to be the conclusion. If, by some chance, you joined us in the middle of the program today, be sure and check out You can get the entire program and then also be able to get the archives from last Thursday and Friday. Let's jump in and get the conclusion from David Barton on answers to prayer and fasting.

David Barton

If you're an American on the march, there's no way you see God doing anything. This weather is so bad don't tell me God's in this. Except God was in that because it was so bad that the enemy went inside and turned into a complete victory. And so, as a result, with that total victory, everybody wants to join the army now. Now we've got an army. This is good, and so General Henry Knox was in charge of all that. This is the way he described all the bad stuff that the women are crossing, and now you see the victory. Now you see the final results and you look at it. He said the hurry, fright and confusion of the enemy was not unlike that which will be with the last Trump sounds. He said it kind of looked to me like the rapture had happened, because these guys are running around, don't have a clue what's going on, and that's the way he saw it was. This is like the second Trump, when so many people would be caught unaware and they don't even know what's going on. At the time, he says, providence seemed to have smiled upon every part of this enterprise. Now, again, they have fasting and prayer. Then you see a miracle like this, and it literally is a miracle, it's a divine intervention.

One more that I'll give you is the Battle of Yorktown. The Battle of Yorktown is the final battle of the American War for Independence. This is what sealed America's independent nation, and it's really a contrast between the American Commander-in-Chief Washington and the British Commander-in-Chief Lord Cornwallis, Charles Cornwallis. What had happened was back then in world history you really didn't fight much in the winter. Usually about November the armies went into their winter encampment and they stayed there until about May. So about six months of the year you fought, and about six months a year you didn't fight. And so it's like in the Bible. It talks about the season of fighting to come, and David didn't go out. So what happened was usually in November you went into winter encampment, and so Cornwallis has got 20,000 troops. Where are we going to put them? He says, well, if we go down to Virginia, it's James River there, it's right on the coast, Chesapeake, and it's a very moderate temperature for the winter. It would be a good place. There's a lot of supplies there. Ships can come in from Great Britain, we can keep the troops supplied, we can keep food, everything there. Let's take the 20,000 troops and move them all down.

Washington didn't know anything about what the British were planning to do, except shortly before that Washington had told General Lafayette. He said you know, we don't know what the British are up to. We need a lot more intelligence. We need we need to know what's happening. And so, Lafayette, there was a guy named James Armistead, this black patriot right here, and he went to Lafayette and he said I want to do something to help. What can I do to help? And Lafayette said well, what we really need is spies, we need intelligence. And Armistead. But he told Armistead, he said but that's way too dangerous, you don't want to do that. And Armistead says, yeah, I do want to do that. And so what happens? Is he volunteers as a spy. He went straggling into Cornwallis' camp and in camp he said oh, I hate those Americans. They're so brutal, all those slavery guys. Will you, nice British, please take me in. And so they took him in.

And so he's there in the camp and he starts serving the officers very diligently. I mean, he does everything they want. And let me get that for you, sir, let me shine your boots here, have this drink. And he does everything. And so one of the generals says hey, you don't need to be serving all the soldiers, you need to be serving officers like me. And so that general says I want you to come be my personal valet.

The general who said that was a guy named Benedict Arnold. So the traitor Benedict Arnold. And Benedict Arnold goes to all the generals meetings with Cornwallis, and now James Armistead is hearing every single plan of the British, everything that's going on. And then Benedict Arnold gets set off on a mission and so James stays behind the camp and Lord Cornwallis comes to James and says hey, James, you were serving Benedict, but you're so good, would you serve me, would you be my personal valet? And so now James is the personal valet of Cornwallis, knows every single thing happening. And so he gets word to Lafayette and Washington says hey, Cornwallis is about to move the entire British army down to Yorktown. And so Lafayette gets that. He goes to Washington and said I just got word from James, they're moving the army to Yorktown. This may be exactly what we need to be able to finish the war and crush the British.

So Washington takes his 10,000 troops and makes it to Yorktown before Cornwallis makes it there. So instead of coming to a place where it's going to be a quiet winter. He's not come to a place where there's going to be a big battle. And, by the way, James Armistead, the first double spy of the American Revolution, Washington Lafayette, credit him with being the guy that brought the end of this thing. Nobody's ever heard that in black history. Today we don't get these stories. Every single battle of the American Revolution has a major black figure associated with it as a hero, not as a participant. As a hero, see, this is applause. This is why, 30 years ago, we were not teaching critical race theory, we were not teaching Black Lives Matters, because we knew too much of our own history. We don't know that anymore and so we buy a narrative that's not actually even accurate, so nonetheless.

So what happens is they're there and Washington gets their head of Cornwallis. And so Cornwallis is sending 10,000 troops down in his British fleet and he's marching the other 10,000 down. Well, Lafayette, who is Frenchman, goes and gets the French fleet and says, hey, keep those British ships from getting there. And so the French fleet intercepted the British fleet, which just took out 10,000 of Cornwallis' soldiers. Now it's 10,000 versus 10,000. Cornwallis and his 10,000 versus Washington and his 10,000. That's still not real good, but it's better than 20,000 versus 10,000.

And so what happens after that is, Cornwallis arrives at Yorktown and finds Washington is already waiting for him. That's not good. So he turns around and starts loading all these guys back in these, in these transport boats, and says, hey, let's get on the other side of the river, let's get away from Washington. And so the boats each carried about 100 men in the boat. And as he's got all these boats going back across, lo and behold, a storm sets up on the river and starts dumping all the British boats, starts capsizing the British boats. Cornwallis talked about it, Cornwallis. He said very simply he said that this critical moment, the weather from being moderate and calm changed to a violent storm of wind and rain and drove all the boats, some of which troops on board, down the river. I lost half of my troops right there at that point. So at that point Cornwallis now has 5,000 troops left and Washington's got 10,000.

Washington said this is a good time to attack, and he did. He lit the first cannon that started the battle of Yorktown. He personally fired that shot and it turns into a big, long battle and this is what's called readout, number nine, number 10. Alexander Hamilton took one of those and General Lafayette took the others against him. And so we finally, in the war, Cornwallis surrenders Yorktown. It's all over and done with.

And Washington himself talked about how that the weather is what made the difference. It saved so many lives, Washington. This is what he said. Washington said great preparations were made for attacking us but the weather getting very tenuous, much blood was saved. That this remarkable interposition of providence is for some wise purpose, I have not a doubt again.

Gosh, they, they kept seeing. See, that's the other thing God shows us so many times in our lives and we don't often recognize them. They, they were tuned prayer and fasting prayer. And they say they were tuned to look for God and recognize God when he did show up. And that's what you see with Washington Weather divine anytime the weather changes. That ain't us doing that I mean, there's no way. And we won so much because God changed the weather and made it affect one group and not the other, which is a really strange thing.

So when you look Washington, he was talking to General Thomas Nelson. Nelson was one of the generals there at Yorktown with Washington and Nelson, by the way, is a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was the governor of Virginia and Washington said Thomas, he said what you and I have seen in this war. He said very simply. He said the hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith and more than wicked that hath not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligation. He said, Thomas, if people would have seen what you and I have seen and if they didn't feel an obligation to hit their knees and thank God, they're just pagan wicked. Now that was Washington. You know that Washington on more than 250 occasions talked about God's direct intervention in their battles. Heavily involved. Of course you won't get this in American history today, but just read Washington's letters. So that's the 1700s. So, looking back over this, there's a lot of miracles in history and there's many of them that are tied to fasting. Not everyone goes to fasting, but so many of them do and you can see the direct correlation In the 1800s.

Probably one of the most popular textbook writers in the 1800s, a guy named Charles Coffin. He had been a correspondent during the Civil War was kind of like I don't know, back in the days of news things Walter Winchell and Ernie Powell and these guys in World War II and later that were the big news guys. He was the guy who did so much of the reporting and so he started writing history books in the 1860s. They're still available today, they've been reprinted. They're really good history books.

But this is what he told people up front. When you read this history he said notice that while oppressors have carried out their plans in history, there were other forces solidly at work which in time undermined their plans, as if a divine hand were directing the counter plan. Notice that when you read history it looks like it's all going this way and suddenly it swerves and you go what happened? Oh, God showed up. He said you need to see that. He said when you read history, you need to see the divine hand that directs the counter plan. I've shown you examples of that this morning. He says whoever peruses the story of liberty without recognizing this feature will fail of fully comprehending the meaning of history. And see, that's why American history is so dry and so boring and so dull today. Nobody sees the meaning to it anymore. They don't see what god was up to, what God intended to do. So all of that close out with this back to First Corinthians. All of these things are examples to us. This is written down for us that we'll know it. That is why we studied history, that's why I'm presenting some this morning. So fasting and prayer starts February 5th and this is some background for it, not only what George and Terry have given out of the Bible, but some American history as well. And so in looking at that, if this stuff is new to you, we've got what's called the American story, which retells many of the things I showed you this morning, with all the footnotes and documentations and all the originals there.

The Founders Bible does the same thing. It shows you God's hand throughout so much what happened in American history. It has American illustrations of what's going on in the Bible. We want you to know the basis on which so many things happen. The same with the American Journey Experience over in Las Colinas. That's the other museum. You're welcome to come to both of these places. But praying and fasting, George and Terry, what they've got going here, tell George this is the first mega church I know of in the last 20 years that's had a time of prayer and fasting at all. This used to be standard American Christianity. It's time to get back to that. God bless you guys. Thanks for letting me share 

Rick Green

All right out of time for today. That was part three in a three-part series on answers to prayer and fasting. Part one and part two were from last week, Thursday and Friday. All three available right now at for the radio program and archives of the last few weeks, and then, of course, as always, That's the place you can get some fantastic tools for your family and friends Actually a great place to get gifts for people in your life. Get them the gift of freedom, get them the gift of knowledge and wisdom so that they can be a part of the solution as well.

And I encourage you to become a coach, be one of our Constitution coaches, and start teaching that biblical citizenship class in your home or your church or somewhere in your community.

It's a great way to bring people together, find folks in your community that you can build community with and work on the things that need to happen in your neighborhood, in your state and, of course, in our nation to preserve and pass the torch of freedom to the next generation. All of it's available to you right there at, and also make sure you think about giving that one time or monthly contribution. It's a great way to come alongside us and be a part of the solution. Of course, it takes fuel in the tank to be able to go out there and do what we do and, as the founding father said in the Declaration of Independence, we've got to give up our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor. That's our time and, yes, our money and, of course, our reputation. We're willing to put it all on the line to preserve this freedom for future generations. Check it out today at 


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