I Prayed have prayed
Lord, thank You for all You have done to bless America and thank You for all those people who in seeking You helped make this great nation.

As we watch Columbus Day become Indigenous People’s Day, it is good to remember or learn that Columbus believed that God inspired, directed, and guided him to America. In the book, Inspired People, IFA President/CEO Dave Kubal wrote about how God has divinely intervened in American history, through the lives of remarkable people. Let’s not lose this history–let’s celebrate that God uses flawed people to accomplish His divine purposes. If you would like a free copy or copies of Inspired People (each chapter includes Bible study questions and applications), please call IFA at 800-USA-PRAY.

“In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” This is the well-known rhyme many of us memorized in school, along with names of the ships, Niña, Pinta, and Santa María.  What is not so well-known is how very unlikely it was for Columbus to reach the New World.

Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy around 1450 to a fairly poor family. At an early age, Columbus had a strong sense of destiny. He was not privileged to attend good schools, but studied very hard by himself. When he was young, possibly about 14, he left home to travel the seas, mostly on trade vessels throughout the Mediterranean Sea.

On one of those trips, his ship was attacked by Franco-Portuguese warships. This young deckhand thought his life was over. His ship was struck by many cannon balls. Although many of the sailors on his ship were killed, Columbus survived the attack. However, the ship began to sink into the ocean. Columbus was far enough out to sea that he knew he was in terrible danger. As the ship slowly began to sink, Columbus jumped overboard. He swam all night before he washed up on the shores of Portugal.

God’s hand on Columbus began to be evident in surviving a shipwreck and an all-night swim, helping develop in him an incredible perseverance. Once in Portugal he learned the finer points of sea navigation that were critical to his later success. He was not likely to have learned these skills in Italy because Portugal was much more advanced in this area at the time.

Columbus desired to sail and discover new lands, but he needed an investor. Through much effort, he was able to present his ideas to the King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. He spent many years attempting to convince the Spanish Royalty and their scientists to support his exploration, but after more than seven years of Columbus’ endless petitioning, they turned him down a final time.

Dejected and broke, Columbus persevered, traveling to France to find investors. On his way, he stopped at La Rabida, a famous monastery. The next morning, the prior sent a message to the Queen of Spain, telling her that God’s hand was on Columbus. The prior asked her to reconsider. Columbus waited for the answer, which soon arrived, telling him Queen Isabella desired to see him. He returned to her to find that she had miraculously decided to fund his expedition to sail to India.

All previous attempts by European countries to cross the Atlantic had failed because the winds blew in the wrong direction. But Spain controlled the Canary Islands, which were much further south than previous beginning points of European transatlantic voyages. So, Columbus decided to endure a 700 mile trip south to those islands before heading east.

This new route enabled Columbus to find the easterlies, prevailing winds blowing all the way across the Atlantic. On September 6, 1492, the Niña, Pinta, and Santa María left the safe harbor of the Canary Islands and caught the easterlies. Columbus believed that God inspired this idea to sail the easterlies.

After sailing for a month, the crews of the three ships began to question their leader’s wisdom. On October 9, the captains of the Niña and Pinta, fearing mutiny, demanded a meeting with Columbus on the Santa Maria. They had been out of sight of land longer than any other crew in history and been at sea much longer than Columbus had predicted. In that meeting, Columbus promised the other captains that if they did not find land in three days, they would turn around.

In the early morning hours of October 12, exactly three days later, the lookout yelled, “Land on the horizon!” Columbus had discovered the Americas—as a result of the inspiration and intervention of the Almighty God.

In Christopher Columbus’s Book of Prophecies, he wrote: “I prayed to the most merciful Lord about my heart’s great desire, and He gave me the spirit and the intelligence for the task. . . . It was the Lord who put into my mind (I could feel his hand upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because He comforted me with rays of marvelous inspiration from the Holy Scriptures . . . encouraging me continually to press forward; and without ceasing for a moment they now encourage me to make haste.”

Columbus realized that it was the Spirit of God who inspired, directed, and propelled him to persevere in “discovering” America. Columbus overcame obstacle after obstacle as he achieved his goals and paved the way for a new nation to be formed.

It is important to note that Columbus essentially failed in his expedition, in that he set out to sail to India. Yet God had a different plan. The Bible tells us that a man may plan his way, but the Lord determines his steps (Proverbs 16:9). This can greatly encourage all of us who trust in the Lord—our failures may be achieving His purposes in ways we cannot imagine. Certainly Columbus could not have imagined the nation that would be founded on biblical principles 300 years later in the New World.

Columbus was the first prominent European whose involvement in slavery was simply wrong. Yet, God used him. God doesn’t excuse his sin and God doesn’t excuse our sin. But God uses us, by His grace and for His glory. And we can trust Him to use us and enable us to overcome.

Sources:

CT.com

Christianity.com

The Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall and David Manuel

Christopher Columbus’ Book of Prophecies by Christopher Columbus

(Photo Credit: Getty Images.)

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Mel Teoh
October 13, 2020

Father God:
I pray that Your will be done on to the young generation of USA that they will all be knowing You and drawing close to You and praying all the way in their life.
That the young generation will be proud to be American who is envied by many due to the Freedom that we have which is now is under attack. Please allow our children to keep and live like we have live having freedom to worship You. Thank you for that privilege.
In Jesus’ name. amen. Your will be done.

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Dee Kotschwar
October 13, 2020

Our current culture is big on soundbites, lots of quick knowledge and little wisdom, and is accustomed to quick easy answers. We behave like three-year-olds needing simple direct instructions. So the nuance that is needed to see that God can and does use imperfect people for His purposes, well, this escapes us. If we only understood that it is God Who controls destiny, we would be less fearful to pursue what He tells us to do.

Dear Lord: Thank you for Columbus, not because he was perfect or should be immortalized, but because You used an imperfect person and a thwarted plan to start a great thing. Let this day, whatever it comes to be called, remind us that You are strong when we are weak. It is worth setting one day aside to simply remember that we are creatures, not the Creator.

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Delois
October 12, 2020

Since we homeschooled our five children and taught them true history, I taught these facts about Columbus to them. Now they are adults, and all of them are believers and conservative. I believe Deut. 6 tells us how to train our children and not simply leave their training up to the church and schools.
I pray for the children, and adults, to not be deceived by the lies of the ungodly, but that truth will be known, upheld, and spread like wildfire to put out all the lies of the enemy.

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Alma
October 12, 2020

Liked “Columbus was the first prominent European whose involvement in slavery was simply wrong. Yet, God used him. God doesn’t excuse his sin and God doesn’t excuse our sin. But God uses us, by His grace and for His glory. And we can trust Him to use us and enable us to overcome.”
Here’s what I found from thought.com
“ Under Columbus’s leadership, the Arawaks were forced under .. to mine for gold and produce cotton. When gold was not found, the irate Columbus oversaw the hunting of Indians for sport and dog food. Women and girls as young as nine or 10 were used for sex for the Spanish. So many Indians died …that Indians from neighboring Caribbean islands were imported, and eventually from Africa. After Columbus’s first kidnapping of Indians, he is believed to have sent as many as 5,000 enslaved natives across the Atlantic, more than any other individual. Estimates for the pre-Columbus population of Hispaniola range between 1.1 million and 8 million Arawaks. By 1542 Las Casas recorded fewer than 200, and by 1555 they were all gone.”
If any of this is true, he was indeed flawed but he was also used of God.
We ask forgiveness for these past crimes against the indigenous peoples. We ask God to help us surrender to His righteousness, to respect the sanctity of life including those in the womb. We pray for the appointment of righteous leaders and the establishment of just laws that will uphold Your holy standards. We ask for mercy on America, grace, guidance, and a second term for President Trump to finish the work You assigned him, the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett as a conservative Supreme Court Justice, and righteous leaders in all other open seats of leadership in our nation. Remove all the ungodly evil leaders. Help us to fulfill Your divine plan, stand with Israel, and serve as You as a nation and be a world leader of righteousness. In Jesus name Amen!

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    mari
    October 12, 2020

    Glad u read that SOMEONE not fearful to expose the truth about this evil man. This should be released to the public, not kept hidden. Why doesn’t any person or organization check out facts before anyone is endorsed? Pathetic that this person hailed as a godly person and as a hero. Always two sides to a story/history/people.

    1
      Maida
      October 13, 2020

      What about the apostle Paul, who murdered Christians before becoming one himself? God called him and he answered. How about David in the old testament? Etc etc. Beware of Cancel Culture.

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    Delois
    October 13, 2020

    You might be interested that you can access the writings of Columbus himself. It is always telling of a persons thoughts and motivations by reading his journal. The book is, Journal of Columbus, a diary of the first voyage. Two others are Columbus’s Book of Prophecy and The Voyages of Christopher Columbus.
    The Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall and David Manuel, which is a history with a Christian perspective, is the best source. The first two chapters and the bibliography have information which helps us more fully understand the man, his faith, his failures, and his times. He did have a great faith in God and believed that God had a plan for his life. God loved Christopher even though he got sidetracked by the love of riches. O Lord, give us the wisdom to learn from others mistakes.

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      Alma
      October 13, 2020

      Thank you for sharing the books. I will look into these sources. We don’t know his heart, only God truly knows. But we can see the hand of God on his life. Every great Bible leader was fallible, Noah was found drunk and naked, Moses a murderer, Abraham a liar, Jacob a cheater, David an adulterer, Solomon an idolator and the list goes on. Not all started out flawed, but some in their later years lost their way. Yet there is no doubt that God’s hand was on their lives, and they changed the course of history. We have to take the good and the bad qualities and learn from them. God forgives and restores. “God works all things for good for them that are called according to His purposes” Romans 8:28

      4
Jim Lorch
October 12, 2020

Thank you for the history lesson and the important biblical details. We cannot forget history and we must learn from the past.

Father I pray that our history is not washed away, but rather protected and taught accurately to students of every age so we can all be reminded how You Lord have and will continually determine our steps.

Lord I thank and praise You in Jesus mighty name.

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Luanne
October 12, 2020

Thank you LORD for your hand on Christopher Columbus and your continued providential guiding of ‘our ship’. May America continue to be a city on a hill whose light will shine forth tour glory to the nations and to our own Indigenous People Group – the American Indians. It was also noted in the Light & Glory series that Christopher Columbus‘ grandfather was given a dream by you showing him a lost people group who needed the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the end, Christopher Columbus was lured by riches and fame just as we have been in America. We humble ourselves and repent and turn from our own lure of these things. We pray as this day is now “Indigenous People Day’ for you to reach the American Indians. We hear reports how reservations are overcome with poverty, addictions to drugs and alcohol, physical and sexual abuse, broken families, and more. Shine the light of your glory upon these people. Bless groups like Ron Hutchcraft’s ministry ‘On Wings of Eagles’ and other Christian ministries to do the same. Raise up warriors and laborers for your kingdom. May American Indian hearts beat for your glory. May the true history of Christopher Columbus continue to be taught to our children and grandchildren. Bless the works of Peter Marshall and David Manuel and the writings of David Kubal and Columbus ‘ own writings. May they be taught in schools and home schools and churches across America and beyond. Thank you for President Trumps support of the American Indians and Native Alaskans for the coronavirus. May you inspire him in further support our indigenous people and may they find freedom in you. I first lamented the change of the name of this holiday in an attempt to destroy our history, but you are having the last laugh! May your kingdom come and your will be done in the American Indian communities and in our lives today. We pray these things in Jesus holy mighty name, Amen.

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