Have you ever seen the painting by Arnold Friberg called “The Prayer at Valley Forge”? It depicts General George Washington in the winter of 1777-1778, humbly calling upon God for help in his most desperate hour. I’ve often wondered what he might have said in that prayer and what answer he received, but I figured I would never know. Until now.
Long-Lost TV Show Episode
I recently rediscovered a TV show called One Step Beyond, which is similar to The Twilight Zone in many respects. It debuted in 1959 (just like The Twilight Zone) and ran for three seasons. I believe its conceit is that all of its episodes are based on true stories, which served to differentiate it from other shows of the time, like Boris Karloff’s Thriller and The Outer Limits.
In the show’s final season, it aired an episode entitled “Night of Decision,” which portrays George Washington’s struggle to decide what to do when all hope seemed to be lost at Valley Forge. At that point in the war, he had lost New York and Philadelphia to the British, and he was severely undersupplied. Things looked bleak for the Continental Army, and Washington wondered if he had the right to ask his men to continue to suffer and fight under his command.
Let’s see what happened when Washington asked God for direction under the most trying circumstances.
An Answer to His Prayer
It’s so rare to see any TV show or movie delve into the life of George Washington or the events of the Revolutionary War. Washington is one of the greatest men who ever lived. It’s wonderful to think that in answer to his prayer, God would send a voice from his past to remind him of how he had been protected all his life for this particular mission. No one could kill George Washington. He was never wounded in battle, even though he constantly put himself in harm’s way. Many times, his clothes had bullet holes in them in places that should have been fatal. It’s as though the bullets tore through his clothes, evaporated through his body, and then violently exited the other side of his clothes.
But this reminder wasn’t enough to free Washington from his feeling of hopelessness. No, he needed something more. I don’t know if the depiction in this TV show is entirely accurate, but I like to believe that he was given a vision of the future greatness of the United States of America, and that this is what gave him the faith and courage to persevere against all odds and win independence for the country he loved.
It’s interesting to note that the Conway referred to in this episode was a real man named Thomas Conway who had a falling-out with Washington and attempted to criticize the general in a letter to the Continental Congress. But Washington intercepted the letter much like this episode shows, and Conway was soon run out of the army. He died without fame, fortune, or honor. Even though he seemed like a major impediment to Washington at this time in the war, he has faded into obscurity while Washington’s name continues to be held in high regard. This goes to show that when you are facing hard times, remember George Washington’s example and endure them well. No one will remember the difficulties you went through on your way to greatness; they will remember the man or woman you became.
One last side note, George Washington is played by Robert Douglas, which just so happen to be my first and middle names. My dad gave me his first name as my middle name, which I try to honor.
This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.
The painting and video are the copyright of their respective owners.