Mental Health Awareness, Broken Treaties and Standing in the Gap: A Historical Perspective on Intercessory Prayer for Native America


Nationally, many mental health organizations recognize the month of May as Mental Health Awareness Month.  We affirm the tremendous need for mental health awareness and recognize the significance of focused prayer on “broken treaties” and “standing in the gap” at this time.


Historical References / Anniversaries:

Excerpt from Andrew Jackson’s State of the Union Address 12/8/29

May 28, 1830 – Indian Removal Act

Indian Removal Act – Library of Congress

May 17 1836 – Senate Approved New Echota Treaty by 1 vote

May 23 1836 – New Echota Treaty ( 7 stat 478)

May 23 1838 – Deadline of Forced Removal

Oklahoma Territory – History

Scriptural References

Scripture gives some great insight on how we can proceed in prayer.

Exodus 23:2; Numbers 30:2; Deuteronomy 16:18-20; Deuteronomy 27:19; Joshua 9:1-26; 2 Samuel 21:1-14; Psalm 10:17-18; Psalm 72:4; Malachi 2:17; Matthew 5:33-37; Matthew 23:23; James 5:12

Prayer Regarding Broken Treaties:

“Yahweh, Maker of heaven and earth and all that has breath, You clearly have taught us to be humble, to do justly and to love mercy. You have instructed us to simply let our ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and our ‘no’ be ‘no’. Yet, we have made and have broken our oaths time and time again. It has happened throughout centuries and throughout the world. Your people live daily with the consequences of broken covenants. Oh, how it must grieve Your heart. How much more it must grieve your heart when your leaders, through power and influence, purposefully break treaties for gain. In this month of May, you have brought it to our attention that law-makers will even make new laws to force others to break covenants. They will even give people false authority to make decisions, so that covenants and laws enforcing them are fraudulent. Father, your indigenous people of North America have been victims of broken covenants and fraudulent laws for centuries. We ask that You will remember our indigenous people with mercy and grace. Father, we pray that You will show your people, like You showed King David, of the broken treaties of our ancestors. Through Your divine guidance, direct us into repentance. Father, Your people are perishing every day from every kind of trouble and pestilence. Out of Your great love and favor, show us the connections between ‘broken treaties’ and ‘famine’, as You did to David. Merciful Father, as we remember history and the countless wrongs, forgive us for crying out “Where were You?”, “Why didn’t You?”, “Where are You?” “How could You?” Direct us in how we should pray. Direct us in how we should listen. Mold our hearts and correct our motives. Bring about the healing of North America and all of it’s people. Guide us out from under the bondage and curse. Guide the governments out from under the bondage and curse. Guide Your people into righteousness, peace and joy. In Jesus holy Name, Amen.”


Historical References / Anniversaries

May 13, 1614: Juan de Onate

“Juan de Oñate is judged guilty of 12 charges filed against him, which related to his administration of New Mexico. They included the unjust hanging of two Acomas, great severity in battle and trial against the Acoma people, adultery, swearing falsely, and others. He was banished for life from New Mexico, and for four years from Mexico City, and assessed large fine.” Kessell, Spain in the Southwest; Twitchell, Leading Facts, Vol. I

Juan de Onate – ( This website notes that he may have received a pardon before his death. )

May 19 1830 – Davy Crockett Opposes Indian Removal Act

Others who opposed Indian Removal Act
– Including Abe Lincoln & William Penn (Jeremiah Evarts)

Debates over the Indian Removal Act

Search in the 21st Congress using the phrase “removal of the Indians” to locate Congressional debate on the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

For example:

Mr. Storrs Says: “The papers before the House have convinced me that it is chiefly intended and expected to come in aid of the measures recently taken by the States along the southern line of the Union, for removing the Indian nations within their limits from the country which they now occupy; and finding a purpose so unjust to these people, and so mischievous to the reputation of the country, lurking under it, I cannot give it my countenance or support.”

May 16, 1838 – Protest at Pennsylvania Hall includes Indian Issues

Scripture References

Scripture gives some great insight on how we can proceed in prayer.

Isaiah 6:8; Ezekiel 22:30; Hosea 12:6; Micah 6:8; Matthew 5:7

“Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief].” Romans 12:15 (Amplified)

“Bear (endure, carry) one another’s burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ (the Messiah) and complete what is lacking [in your obedience to it].” Galatians 6:2 (Amplified)

Prayer for Standing in the Gap

“Abba Father, Awesome Creator, thank You for giving your people supernatural courage, wisdom, humility, grace and a desire for justice. Thank You for Your Great Holy Spirit Who guides our path. In moments of great sorrow and injustice, You have faithfully called out to Your people and prompted them to speak truth. There are many times throughout history when Your indigenous people have been wronged. There are also many times when non-indigenous people of North America have wept, mourned and protested the injustices. Thank You for the people who stand in the gap. Thank You for the people who desire clean lips and who pray. Thank You for the people who speak Your truth. Father, just as we have learned that there were a lot more people standing the gap than we had thought, we pray that you will shine Your light on these instances over and over again. Let the people of North America know of the atrocities and them know of the people who cried out against them. Father, prosper the obedience and the prayers of those who went before us, who fought for justice. Father, we ask that You will continue to rise up mighty warriors throughout North America to do Your will in promoting and pursuing justice for indigenous people. Give Your people, who know You, love You and obey You, power and authority to stop injustice. As you have preserved the names and speeches of those who spoke out against the injustices against indigenous people in the past, we pray that the names and words of today’s voices will be heard. Make a path throughout the nation, in all kinds of media and venues, for those who speak Your words, to be heard. May your indigenous people be renewed and encouraged. Breathe life into your people, that they will not remain weary, but that they will rise up like eagles with a new hope. Father, we pray You bring forth fruit of the obedience sewn in the past, and multiply that fruit in this generation, according to Your perfect will and good purpose. In Jesus Name, Amen.”

Rev. Jeny Running Brook Covill
First Nations Monday

(Note: This is a study that was originally prepared in May 2012 in partnership with NIAP Prayer Shield)

Books Used in this 12 Month Study

The Holy Bible in the following translations: KJV, NIV, Amplified, NASB, CEV and The Scriptures.

“Church History in Plain Language” by Bruce L. Shelley

“Encyclopedia of Native American Wars & Warfare”. General Editors William B. Kessel, Ph.D. and Robert Wooster, Ph.D.

“This Day In North American Indian History” by Phil Konstantin

As with the First Nations Monday prayer and Scripture studies, I like to study with 5 translations. As you go through these studies, I encourage you to do the same. “The Scriptures” is a translation that includes the original Hebrew names and has the books in chronological order. The Contemporary English Version (CEV) is a translation that is written for ‘oral tradition’ peoples and it flows well while reading it aloud. The Amplified version is one where meanings of words and phrases are ‘amplified’ for better understanding. The King James Version (KJV) is the translation that works well with Strong’s Concordance. The Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) is a great companion version that I find gives great insight.


First Nations Version Project
A retelling of the Sacred Scriptures for Native Americans and all English speaking Indigenous peoples.

Cherokee Bible Project – ONLINE – New Testament

Cherokee Bible Project – ONLINE – Old Testament

Cherokee Bible Project Titles in Book form:
(A joint mission of the Cherokee Bible Project and Four Rivers Native American Church)
Genesis in Cherokee
Haggai in Cherokee
Jonah in Cherokee
100 Days Of Indigenous Wisdom
Cherokee New Testament
New Cherokee Hymnal
Matthew’s Gospel in Cherokee
Mark’s Gospel in Cherokee
Luke’s Gospel in Cherokee
John’s Gospel in Cherokee
The Acts of the Apostles in Cherokee
ROMANS in Cherokee
JAMES to JUDE in Cherokee
John’s Revelation in Cherokee
Pastoral Epistles in Cherokee (coming)
General Epistles in Cherokee (coming)

One comment

  1. Reblogged this on First Nations Monday and commented:

    Nationally, many mental health organizations recognize the month of May as Mental Health Awareness Month. We affirm the tremendous need for mental health awareness and recognize the significance of focused prayer on “broken treaties” and “standing in the gap” at this time. Read the original post on this month’s prayer initiative in regards to the Indian Removal Act of May 28, 1830.

    Holding Up The People In Prayer
    Est. May 2000


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