On December 11, 1753, young George Washington, a Colonel in the militia of Virginia, arrived at French Fort LeBoeuf with a message from the British crown. It was an eviction notice.
The French had trapped and traded with the First Nations for years before other European settlers started moving into western Pennsylvania/eastern Ohio. Concerned the British would claim the land and disrupt their commerce, French Canadian Governor Duquesne devised a plan to build a series of forts. The land itself determined where the forts would be located as streams and rivers create waterways which provided an excellent mode of early travel. In fact, there is one continuous water highway that flows between the Atlantic Ocean in upper North America and the Gulf of Mexico (see map).
Control of the waterways meant a secure military force and their supply chain could be established. However, a challenge to their strategy was created by the St. Lawrence ridge which runs along the southern shore of Lake Erie. This ridge, rising 800 feet above the lake, necessitated the need to portage. A portage is where canoes and gear have to be taken out of the water and hauled by foot or cart. The portage between Lake Erie and Lake LeBoeuf was a 15 mile stretch of brambles, thick under-growth and sometimes soggy wilderness. Today we travel it easily on Peach Street (Rt 19) or Perry Highway (Rt 97). The ridge forms the only break in the water highway that flows between the Atlantic Ocean in upper North America and the Gulf of Mexico. The French built Fort Presque Isle in Erie and Fort LeBoeuf in Waterford in order to secure the supply depots at either end of this vulnerable, burdensome 15 mile stretch of land.
To read more about the forts and portage, go to https://prayerie.org/2020/04/11/watch-and-pray/
The long and short of it is, when presented with the eviction notice, the French said, “We’re not leaving.” Thus, Washington’s visit ignited The French & Indian War.
Given the monumental governmental conflict going on today, it seemed good to pray at the site of these early tensions. Called together by PRAYERIE, a group of intercessors from different churches did just that. We met at the George Washington statue located on the grounds of the original fort in Waterford on December 12, exactly 267 years to the day of the eviction notice being delivered.
This is the only statue of Washington in a British uniform. You will notice a flag positioned alongside the statue. It is known as the Appeal to Heaven flag commissioned by Washington during the Revolution. It first flew over the 13 colonies proclaiming the fledgling nation’s dependence on God. The flag has had a resurgence in Christendom recently as this nation once again finds itself in a place where God must intervene on behalf of liberty. And as Paul reminded readers in his book to the Hebrews (3:6), “Our confidence is not in man’s method or strategy but we hold fast to our confidence in God.”
The focus of our prayer journey was the government and Covid-19. We came with an attitude of humility and affirmed our trust in God to make things right. Dutch Sheets has said, “God knew early Americans would steal land from the First Peoples. He knew we would bring other nations to our shores and enslave them. He knew we would sacrifice children, undermine the sanctity of marriage and confuse gender. But He established this country anyway.” God has called intercessors to pray on behalf of our countrymen and repent for turning from faith in God (Jeremiah 2:13, Nehemiah 1:7).
Remembering God’s command to pray for governmental leaders, we asked that he would increase the power of good men and women, and usurp the strength of evil men (Psalm 75:10). We decree lying, irrational spirits spreading false narratives with twisted words be stopped (I Kings 1:1-16). This is a spiritual battle against kings and kingdoms, rulers and authorities (Colossians 1:16). We bind Satan’s tactics of fear and intimidation and release Holy Spirit revelatory boldness. God would have Kingdom people take their place of influence in every domain of society; we call them in. With clear, fresh revelation rising up from old wells, “God says, RISE UP!”
We also asked for mercy and an end to this pandemic. We remember what God did to his enemies in Psalm 83:13-18, he blew them away like “whirling dust; like chaff before the wind.” The voice of the Lord shatters the enemy (Isaiah 30:31), and in the authority of his voice, we hand out eviction notices to fear, and trauma!
If you are of like mind and spirit, please pray these prayers along with us. America is in a spiritual battle, and prayer is our weapon, mighty in Spirit (II Corinthians 10:5)!
We declare, as God gives us the land, the ecclesia will be on guard and not asleep. Those of us who live in the light will keep sober, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the happy hope of salvation. For God has chosen to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us so that we can live with him forever (I Thessalonians 5:6-9). Then everyone will be praising the name of the Lord Jesus Christ because of the results they see in us. Our city, state and nation’s greatest glory will be that we belong to him!