Many people dismiss Washington’s prayer at Valley Forge as sentimental legend. Yet the story is well-grounded in the historical record. Our chief source is the eyewitness testimony of Isaac Potts, a Valley Forge resident who shared the following story with the Rev. Nathaniel Randolph Snowden (1770-1851), who then recorded it in his diary and remembrances. “I was riding with Mr. Potts near to the Valley Forge where the army lay during the war of ye Revolution when Mr. Potts said, ‘Do you see that woods & that plain? There laid the army of Washington. It was a most distressing time of ye war, and all were for giving up the Ship but that great and good man. In that woods I heard a plaintive sound as of a man at prayer. I tied my horse to a sapling & went quietly into the woods. To my astonishment I saw the great George Washington on his knees alone, with his sword on one side and his cocked hat on the other. He was at Prayer to the God of the Armies, beseeching to interpose with his Divine aid, as it was ye Crisis & the cause of the country, of humanity & of the world. Such a prayer I never heard from the lips of man. I left him alone praying. I went home & told my wife. We never thought a man could be a soldier & a Christian, but if there is one in the world, it is Washington. We thought it was the cause of God & America could prevail'”
A better example of an American Christian Warrior cannot be found.
The inscription at Mount Vernon reads:
Washington, the brave, the wise, the good,
Supreme in war, in council, and in peace.
Valiant without ambition, discreet without fear,
confident without presumption.
In disaster, calm; in success, moderate; in all, himself.
The hero, the patriot, the Christian.
The father of nations, the friend of mankind,
Who, when he had won all, renounced all, and sought in the bosom
of his family and of nature, retirement, and in the hope of religion, immortality.
He was a man uniquely qualified and prepared for the impossible task at hand. The fact is, if George Washington hadn’t been there at that specific time, our country would not exist today.