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THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MAYFLOWER COMPACT 400 YEARS LATER

Lord, we thank You for those who have walked before us and helped paved the way for our freedoms. Help us to move forward as a nation united under Your name.

November 11 marked the 400th anniversary of the signing of the Mayflower Compact, one of the most significant of the founding political documents in America. It was written by a small group of English separatists seeking religious and civil freedom, who were undertaking the planting of a colony “for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith.”[1] The Compact contains principles of self-government and covenant, which are foundational to American constitutionalism. Andrew McLaughlin writes that “[b]ehind the compact lie the Puritan beliefs in the word of God as a higher law, the establishment of the higher law in written documents, and the formation of government by the consent of individuals.”[2]

The covenantal nature of American constitutionalism can be traced to these settlers, who on November 11, 1620, still on board the Mayflower, “Do… solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together in to a civil Body Politick.”[3]

This political document had its origin in the church covenant the Pilgrims had drawn up years earlier—their political philosophy was derived from their Puritan theology.

This theology found in the Scriptures the right of men to associate and covenant to form a church and civil government and to choose their own officers to administer both religious and civil affairs. Each member of the congregation had a vote in the election of officers, and each congregation was considered as independent and autonomous of every other and not subject to the authority of any centralized church hierarchy.[4]

In 1623 the Pilgrims instituted trial by jury and private property rights. In 1636 they compiled “the first comprehensive body of law in North America,”[5] which served as a model for future American codes of laws. These laws were based upon Scripture and English precedent. The Laws of the Pilgrims were later revised in 1658, 1671, and 1685, but they all were based upon the idea that the only true law was the law of God as revealed in the Bible. The preface to the 1671 Book of Laws states that “Laws…are so far good and wholesome, as by how much they are derived from, and agreeable to the ancient Platform of Gods Law.”[6] The specific statutes reflected their biblical philosophy of life. They even quoted Scriptures to support many of their capital laws.

Mayflower Compact in the handwriting of Gov. William Bradford

Many of the governmental ideas in the Mayflower Compact are seen in the U.S. Constitution. American constitutionalism has been a keystone in the establishment of civil liberty in recent history. It has been said that next to the Holy Bible, America’s Constitution is the most important document ever written for the benefit of mankind. Such a statement seems justified when you consider that since the United States Constitution went into effect about two hundred and thirty years ago, over 175 nations have adopted constitutions, most modeled on that of America. To the extent these nations have applied, both internally and externally, the governmental principles in that document is the extent to which they have experienced liberty, justice, and prosperity. The civil liberty the world has experienced in the past two centuries is largely due to the gradual expansion of American constitutionalism, and its seed was found in the Mayflower Compact.

(Used with permission from Providence Foundation. Article by Stephen McDowell. Photo Credit: Canva.)

Why are you personally thankful for The Mayflower Compact? Let us know in the comments below!

336 People Prayed
925 People have read this article

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4 Replies to “THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MAYFLOWER COMPACT 400 YEARS LATER”

  1. The Father still honors the foundational Covenant the Pilgrims and Christians established for this land upon their arrival to “the new world.” They were God’s “shock troops” landing in the very area satan used to lock down these continents for his kingdom. They were special operations forces trained to conduct supernatural warfare against unseen principalities and powers. They were a team of specially designated, organized, trained and equipped forces for this purpose. Their disciplined use of weapons has not changed. We still use them today: the Word of God, Prayers, Intercessions, their tesimonies, etc. and as soon as they took Communion on the land a super thermonuclear bomb went off in the mid-heavens to claim these lands for God the Father and for His Glory! Paving the way for this Nation to show His light to the world. Lord help us follow in their steps and fulfill Your heart for America.

  2. I love this story. It reminds me of the wise and foolish builders. The wise man built his house on rock. “It did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock.” Matt. 7

    Jesus, after this parable the Bible says, “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had AUTHORITY, and not as their teachers of the law.”

    The crowds could tell that what you were saying was solid and had authority to back it up. The teachers of the law were hypocrites and the people could tell that they did not have the solid foundation of Scripture to back up some of their traditions.

    Lord, how very thankful we are for the solid foundation of the Mayflower Compact which was rooted in Scripture. We are so hopeful that our nation will continue to soar like an eagle above the storms of this current age. We pray that when the storm is so furious around us that we the people fear for our very lives, we will be still and know that you are God; that you will be exalted in the nations, that you will be exalted in the earth. In Jesus Name, Amen.

    Amen! 11
  3. Thank You Father for the godly cloud of pilgrim witnesses. Whose prayers laid a biblical foundation of truth and righteousness as set forth in the Mayflower Compact, the forerunner of our Constitution. We pray for the integrity of our Constitution, a model of freedom and liberty used throughout the world. to be upheld by godly leadership, men and women after Your own heart. We pray for all 3 branches of our government to seek Your Truth in the governing of this nation.
    We ask for a purification, a cleansing from evil motives and unrighteousness laws. We pray for repentance and revival, that we all humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways and align our actions with Your Word. Hear our prayers Father God and heal our land. Bless our familiesRestore the hearts of parents to their children and children to their parents. Bless our faith congregations with boldness and perseverance for truth and righteousness, discipleship and evangelism. Bless the Trump administration as a vehicle for fulfilling Pilgrim prayers from past and present. We pray Your will be done on earth, in America as it is in Heaven. That we be a faithful ally to Israel and partners in the Great Harvest of souls to Jesus Christ.

    Amen! 20
    1. What a wonderful prayer, Alma!! Thank you for sharing it.
      I am so thankful to have a Mayflower ancestor in my family tree; but just as Jesus grafted the Gentiles into the Jewish ancestral vine, every American can be grafted into the Mayflower line as they uphold the values, and live out the intentions, of our first founding fathers and mothers! Lord, we thank you for our godly heritage in America as we celebrate this Thanksgiving!!

      Amen! 9

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