5 Surprising Miracles from God
that Helped Make America Great
Some would say America’s existence is a miracle. Its founding documents inspired and laid the foundation for a one-of-a-kind experiment.
The result: arguably the most prosperous, inventive, industrious, and generous nation on earth.
Others accuse our great nation – declaring its foundation to be built on greed, heartless ambition, and racism. But mamas, you know that’s not true.
From the Revolutionary War to the Space Race, our nation was bathed in daily prayer throughout our 245-year history. Our founders credited its success to our Creator, and countless captivating episodes of divine intervention are documented, though rarely shared.
When we remind ourselves of the miracles God has performed in this nation in past years, it will stir up the faith we need to expect them again.
Did you miss these accounts of American miracles in history class? It’s no surprise. As our education system works to cut God out, we’re sharing 5 surprising miracles from God that helped make America great.
1. Was George Washington Bulletproof or Protected?
This one is debated, but not debatable!
Before he led our nation, 23-year-old Colonel George Washington was a volunteer aide to General Edward Braddock in 1755 at the Battle of Monongahela during the French and Indian War. Fierce fighting broke out as troops were ambushed by French and Indian forces as they marched through the woods, becoming pinned down in a ravine.
The fighting brought down nearly every officer among Braddock’s forces except young Washington. More than 900 died in the chaotic battle, including General Braddock. Colonel Washington rallied the troops from horseback, an easy target, only 30 feet from the firing line, well in range.
The remaining troops, with Washington, retreated to Virginia. He later discovered four musket-ball holes in his jacket.
In a letter home, he described the miracle of his survival: “But, by the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!”
Was George Washington bulletproof or protected by God?
An Indian allied with the French recounted that he and his men could not shoot young Washington even at close range. He said, “The Great Spirit protects that man and guides his destinies – he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as founder of a mighty empire. I am come to pay homage to the man who is a particular favorite of Heaven, and who can never die in battle.” 1
2. Mysterious Fog Saved the American Revolutionaries
The miracle of right weather is one that God has used in many instances for people and nations who follow Him.
The Revolutionary War itself was indeed a David vs. Goliath mismatch with the most powerful army in the world against a force of patriots who didn’t have the funding or military background – only passion and Providence.
The Battle of Brooklyn found the American forces surrounded by 32,000 British regulars. Trapped near the East River, the British dug trenches around the Americans, planning to finish them off. They awaited British ships to arrive to cut off any possible escape route.
The ships never arrived. Though the plan was set, the wind became still, and they couldn’t sail into place.
It rained all night, and George Washington used all available boats to begin shuttling his troops across the river to safety under cover of darkness. As morning approached, he still had a large percentage of his soldiers awaiting transport.
Their loss could mean disaster for the American Revolution.
Then, a heavy fog settled over the American and British troops. Even after daybreak, the fog lay like a blanket upon both. When it finally lifted, the British were astonished to see every sign of their adversaries gone!2
The mysterious and infamous fog saved the American revolutionaries from capture, or worse.
The event was documented by Major Benjamin Tallmadge: “As the dawn of the next day approached, those of us who remained… became very anxious for our own safety…At this time, a very dense fog began to rise off the river, and it seemed to settle in a peculiar manner over both encampments. I recollect this peculiar providential occurrence perfectly well, and so very dense was the atmosphere that I could scarcely discern a man at six yards distance.” 3
3. Pandemic Yielded to the Power of Prayer
With everything going on in our nation today, let us not forget what miracles prayer can bring!
And let’s stir up our faith by remembering another time it did just that.
In the 1800s that a cholera outbreak spread across the globe.
Beginning in India, the advent of rail travel and ships connecting continents provided the means of spread. In the U.S., by 1849, cholera had swept through the nation, claiming 8,000 lives in Cincinnati, 5,000 in New York, 5,000 in St. Louis, and 3,000 in New Orleans. All told, the disease killed 150,000 Americans. Among the casualties were former President James K. Polk and a child of Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Things couldn’t get much worse. Families braced themselves with fear of infection reaching their homes, and the nation mourned. Then, President Zachary Taylor made a bold move. He declared a National Day of Fasting and Prayer to be observed on August 3, 1849.4 The proclamation read:
“At a season when the providence of God has manifested itself in the visitation of a fearful pestilence which is spreading itself throughout the land, it is fitting that a people whose reliance has ever been in His protection should humble themselves before His throne, and, while acknowledging past transgressions, ask a continuance of Divine mercy…it is recommended to persons of all religious denominations to abstain as far as practicable from secular occupation and to assemble in their respective places of public worship, to acknowledge the Infinite Goodness which has watched over our existence as a nation, and so long crowned us with manifold blessings, and to implore the Almighty, in His own good time to stay the destroying hand which is now lifted up against us.”5
By the end of August, the death rate had dropped dramatically. The pandemic yielded to the power of prayer.
And it still will today!
4. Massive Storm Defeated the British Invaders
Another lesser-known miracle occurred during the War of 1812, which was devastating to the young American nation.
They once again had to secure the freedom that had cost them dearly during the Revolution some 30 years earlier. The War took a decisive turn when British troops marched into Washington, D.C. and American forces retreated.
It is a famous moment when First Lady Dolly Madison fled by carriage with the rolled-up portrait of George Washington she’d determined to save.
Storming the White House, the British found the table still set for dinner, so they sat down, dined, (how audacious!) and then set fire to the structure. Entering the Capitol, they paused at the lawmaker’s chamber for a mock vote on whether to burn it down.
The building was torched, along with the Library of Congress, the Navy Yard, and other prominent public buildings. 6
But not so fast!
Soon the sky darkened, and wind began to blow. The hurricane force threw British soldiers from their horses, killed others with flying debris, and lifted cannons into the air. A tornado touched down on Constitution Avenue, and torrential rain doused fires throughout the city.
Two British ships were blown ashore, and retreat was sounded. The massive storm defeated the British invaders. A British admiral asked an American woman, “Great God, Madam! Is this the kind of storm to which you are accustomed in this infernal country?”
Her reply: “No, Sir, this is a special interposition of Providence to drive our enemies from our city.” 7
Amen and amen.
5. Miraculous Breakthrough that Saved the Southern Agriculture
How about this one?
Following the Civil War, impoverished southern farmers scrambled to make ends meet. Years of cotton crops had utterly depleted the soil, and deep need spread as defeated southern states sought a path to restoration.
Enter former slave George Washington Carver, a budding scientist who helped the agricultural community. He taught them best practices for irrigation, fertilization, and planting peanuts to replenish the soil with needed nitrogen.
Farmers heeded the advice but wound up with peanuts. So many peanuts. The legume was primarily used for animal feed – definitely not a cash crop.
Carver was smart. He didn’t complain. He didn’t grumble.
Carver sought God’s help. “All my life, I have risen regularly at 4 o’clock and have gone into the woods and talked with God. There He gives me my orders for the day…I gather specimens and listen to what God has to say to me. After my morning’s talk with God, I go into my laboratory and begin to carry out His wishes for the day.” 8
It was God’s miraculous breakthrough that saved Southern agriculture. Carver derived more than 300 uses for the lowly peanut. He was even invited to speak to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee in 1921. Following his speech, the Chairman asked, “Dr. Carver, how did you learn all of these things?”
“From an old book,” Carver replied.
“What book?” the Chairman pressed.
Perplexed, the Chairman asked, “Does the Bible tell about peanuts?”
“No sir, but it tells about the God who made the peanut. I asked Him to show me what to do with the peanut, and He did,” Carver explained. 9
Keep Remembering the Miracles
Mamas, there are countless miracles, big and small, that run through our history. Many credit “nature” or “coincidence,” but we know the truth. As the song “God Bless America” says of our beautiful country, “God shed his grace on thee.” So very true.
The key to preserving patriotism in this country is to keep remembering the miracles.
Share these stories with your family at dinner. Talk together about what it might have been like to live through some of these miraculous moments:
– to escape for your life through a thick fog,
– see troops defeated by a great storm,
– and taste peanut butter when it was first invented!
To learn more miracle stories from American history, we recommend these titles:
6 William J. Federer Lecture, 6/27/2021