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Juneteenth: Its History, and Motivation for Today

IFA Staff : Jun 19, 2024  Intercessors For America

It would be wonderful if Juneteenth was a positive time of the year filled with joy and celebration, marking the end of what is arguably the darkest stain on American history. All Americans could celebrate the unique melting pot that is the United States.

[IFAPray.org] Father God, thank You for the victory over the sin and stain of slavery in America. Thank You for answering the prayers of Americans in the 1800s who cried out to You for an end to slavery. You are a God who answers prayer. (Screengrab image)

Intercessors might have heard of a new holiday: Juneteenth. But what exactly is Juneteenth, and why is it so popular today? What's the history behind our newest federal holiday?

The history of Juneteenth

Juneteenth, a fusion of "June" and "nineteenth," refers to June 19,1865, when enslaved Africans in Galveston, Texas, were delivered the news of their freedom. Coming months after the defeat of the South in the US Civil War and over two years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, this day has come to be known as the proper end of slavery. Therefore, some Americans celebrate Juneteenth as an independence day.

It is important to know that Juneteenth is not a new holiday; it has been celebrated in Texas since 1980. It took several decades, however, for the day to be recognized as the national holiday it is today.

Although every state came to recognize Juneteenth in one form or another, it was not until 2020 that the push to recognize the national holiday gained serious momentum. [President Trump reportedly first called for it to be federally adopted, then] on June 17, 2021, ...Biden signed a bipartisan bill into law, formally recognizing Juneteenth as the eleventh federal holiday.

The significance and celebration of Juneteenth

It would be wonderful if Juneteenth was a positive time of the year filled with joy and celebration, marking the end of what is arguably the darkest stain on American history. All Americans could celebrate the unique melting pot that is the United States.

For intercessors, Juneteenth is an important holiday. Certainly, many intercessors prayed for an end to slavery, and along with them, we rejoice that America ended that great evil. The National Museum of African American History and Culture page on Juneteenth says this: "The historical legacy of Juneteenth shows the value of never giving up hope in uncertain times." There are things we are praying for today that we must not give up on, even if it takes years, even decades, to see wrongs righted or justice brought.

There is another parallel for intercessors. President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, and it took years for some slaves to hear the news. Jesus defeated all the powers of evil and satan when He gave up His life on the cross and rose again. Yet many people have not heard this good news, even 2000 years later. We pray for government and government leaders as we are urged in 1 Timothy 2 because good government paves the way for the Gospel:

"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

Let's pray that Juneteenth be a day of peace, joy, and unity and let's take time to pray for the Gospel message to go far and wide. Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here







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