April 22: Praying with William McKinley

At twelve years old, William McKinley realized his condition in a Methodist revival meeting.

William McKinley
William McKinley

“I have not done my duty, I have sinned. I want to be a Christian. . . . I give myself to the Savior who has done so much for me.”

William McKinley, in The Chatauquan

Unlike some who make a “profession”, but perhaps the Holy Spirit does not take possession, McKinley was a committed Christian. During the Civil War, McKinley was a leader in the prayer meetings among the troops:

The prayer meetings which we have been holding semi-weekly seem to have a good effect upon our brother soldiers, and are exerting a salutary influence, not only among our own company, but upon adjoining companies.

William McKinley

But can someone maintain his faith in the political system?
Can Christianity and Politics mix? Here’s what one of his companions said:

Major McKinley is a quiet man upon religious subjects, but he is a religious man. I have been with him many times and during all of his campaigns. We have frequently attended political meetings and banquets, and have often retired at a late hour, but I have never known him to go to his bed until he had read from his Bible and had knelt in prayer.

W.K. Miller, in The Chatauquan

Following the election of 1896 – where McKinley faced the equally devout William Jennings Bryan, McKinley was elected, and faced many important decisions. The Spanish American War literally drove this president to his knees!

I walked the floor of the White House night after night until midnight; and I am not ashamed to tell you, gentlemen, that I went down on my knees and prayed to Almighty God for light and guidance more than one night. 


Don’t end your day without prayer – and when facing problems, pray to God for guidance!

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

James 1:5

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