In his second inaugural address Lincoln is referring to the soon to be concluded Civil War and its combatants. Both sides have prayed to the same God; both sides have prayed for an easy victory. Yet neither side has had its prayers answered fully. As Lincoln sees it, this is only right and proper, for God moves in mysterious ways to perform his wonders. Although it was perfectly natural that people on both sides of the conflict desperately wanted a speedy conclusion to the war, ultimately its continuation was God's will. Lincoln wants to remind his audience of how everything is ultimately part of a divine plan, much bigger than any single one of us. Having had our hopes and prayers dashed for a swift cessation of hostilities, all that we can now do is to recognize that God has his purposes and that we must humbly yield to them.