May 4th – Thursday

You keep Him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you. – Isaiah 26:3

On this day in 1904, the United States took over construction of the Panama Canal. The Isthmian Canal Commission was formed to manage the project that had languished under France’s oversight. Thomas Jefferson had recommended in 1788 that Spain, who controlled area colonies at the time, build such a canal. The U.S. has already built the Panama Railroad across the isthmus in 1855. Construction of the canal began in 1881, at the behest of French diplomat Ferdinand de Lesseps. After the first effort went bankrupt, another French company picked up the project. The canal was an engineering challenge due to the oscillating water levels between the rainy and dry seasons, so the second company settled on the lock-and-lake system. When Panama separated from Colombia, President Roosevelt supported Panama and gained approval from its new government for U.S. to control the canal project.

As the Lord leads, pray with us…

  • For the president and secretary of state as they consider and commit to agreements and treaties with foreign nations.
  • For the members of various federal committees and commissions that provide oversight or recommendations on U.S. projects.
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