George Washington’s Prayer at Valley Forge is one of the most well-known prayers in history. Washington and his troops camped at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777 amid hardship. Washington calculated that at least a third of his men had no shoes, few soldiers had coats to protect them from the endless rain and food was scarce. Washington also faced allegations of incompetence and dictatorial ambitions, led by officers and members of congress.

Washington’s private prayer during these trying times was witnessed by a man named Isaac Potts and prompted him to join the American revolutionaries. This shows that our vocal prayers can help others. Praying with real intent can make a difference. The importance of daily communication through prayer cannot be overestimated. It is so significant that it is mentioned over 250 times in Scripture.

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In 1898, the fourth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Wilford Woodruff Sr. stated, “those men who laid the foundation of this American government and signed the Declaration of Independence were the best spirits the God of heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits, not wicked men. General Washington and all the men who labored for the purpose were inspired of the Lord.”

One of the most famous paintings of the American Revolution, The Prayer at Valley Forge, was painted by American illustrator and painter, Arnold Friberg, in 1975. The depiction of George Washington praying at Valley Forge was created to capture the “spirit of 1776” as America celebrated 200 years of independence. Pictured above is a replica of the original painting. Photo courtesy of Mercury One.

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National Archive/Newsmakers