Most of you have heard of the Cholera epidemic that swept through the world in the mid 1800s, killing thousands of people. But did you know that prayer had a direct, impact on it?
Just for the case of presenting the seriousness of this epidemic, I’m going to lay some ground work as to its origins.
The Cholera epidemic began in India with people bathing in the disease infested Ganges River. The disease spread rapidly throughout the world, carried on ships and railways. By its end, it had killed tens of millions of people world wide!
In 1832, it finally reached the United States. New York was hit the worst and thousands of citizens died from the deadly disease. Doctors had relatively nothing they could do to stop it from taking its toll. People became desperate for relief from the disease. It had spread all throughout the US. In total, an estimated 150,000 American people died from cholera.
During this time of desperate circumstances in our country, Zachary Taylor was our president. He was a bit of an odd combination of a tough old soldier and Bible believer. His days fighting during the War of 1812 and the Mexican War had made him into an American hero. He was a highly religious man. In fact, he even refused to be sworn into the presidency on the Lord’s day. It was one of the very few days in which the US didn’t have a President!
In July of 1849, America was at its worst in regard to the Cholera Epidemic. Death rates had skyrocketed and the American people were desperate. That unusual July, President Taylor proclaimed a Nation wide day of fasting and prayer, saying:
The day was set for the first Friday in August, 1849. All across the country, Governors and Mayors implored the people to earnestly pray and fast on that Friday in August.
The day came, and America came to her knees. Americans everywhere, stopped the busyness of their lives and fervently begged God to remove the disease from our land. In Dayton, Ohio, all stores and shops were ordered to be closed, and hundreds of people filled the streets, kneeling openly together and humbly praying for healing.
New Jersey’s governor, Daniel Haine’s implored his state to observe the day, saying,
Miraculously, in that first week of August after the day of prayer and fasting, the death rates in America plummeted drastically. There was no explanation other than it being a miracle carried out by God’s own hand. No-one could offer a viable excuse as to why the death toll dropped so suddenly. But those who had prayed and begged for God’s mercy, knew why it had happened.
If that doesn’t encourage you, then I don’t know what will. Instances like this when I can see The Timeless Anchor working, encourage me that there is nothing impossible for our God. He has never changed or moved. He is The Timeless Anchor.
What do you think of this event? Had you ever heard of this miraculous account? Let me know. I would love to hear your thoughts on it!
A. M. Watson