“…A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance….” (Ecclesiastes 3:4)
Today, July 4, is Independence Day in the United States. It’s our big nationwide birthday party, traditionally spent with family and friends, fireworks and music, grilling out hot dogs and hamburgers, shooting off firecrackers, wearing red-white-and-blue, and flying the flag.
Before all the commercialism, we started this holiday with the notion that liberty is worth celebrating. America is truly a remarkable place to spend our lives. While there are other “exceptional” countries, we are tremendously blessed as a nation—with an abundance of freedoms, natural resources, and resilient people.
There are some in our land today, however, who refuse to celebrate. Angry whenever political winds blow opposite of what they demand, they mock and belittle America’s extraordinary role in world history and the current geopolitical atmosphere. They spew venom on social media, spread rancor, and drag our flag in the mud. Tragically, they are blind to the privilege they exercise to be “un-American.”
Christians in America have a higher calling, though. When July rolls around, we have a responsibility to celebrate our freedom in Christ by praying for America.
Despite our flaws as a nation (and we are, indeed, flawed sinners), God has most definitely shed His grace on this land and its people. For more than two centuries, America has held up a beacon of light to the world—initially channeling God’s celestial light from heaven.
That light has waned in recent decades. Our faith in God has been choked out by the weeds of prosperity, conflict, and moral decline. Too many Americans have lost the compass that points to our Savior.
This year, I hope Christ-followers around the United States will spend time celebrating Independence Day with thanksgiving, humility, and prayer. Pray for the Holy Spirit to bring revival. Pray for healing for the wounded, for all of us to find common ground across the divides. Pray for our enemies, that their eyes may be opened to Your truth. Pray that we will be the salt, light, and love of Christ to others.
If you live in another country, I invite you to join us in praying for healing for America. May you be blessed as well, as we lift our hands and hearts to the One who alone has the power to save us all.
(Here’s a prayer example you can follow, from Kathy Branzell, President, National Day of Prayer Task Force, 2022*)
Lord, we exalt You. We are filled with awe and wonder as our praise joins the heavenly hosts saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.”
You have established Your throne in heaven and the foundations of the earth. You alone are the Creator; the earth is Yours and all it contains is for Your glory. You created and established all of us as Your image bearers. May our lips and lives continually praise You, reflecting and magnifying You in all our words and ways. You are the author of our days, You have established Your plans and purpose for us.
We respond to Your glory and authority in obedience to Your Word and will. You have established prayer that we, Your children, can communicate with our Heavenly Father directing, strengthening, and discipling us in Your everlasting love. We join heaven’s activities as we lift up our prayers and pour out our praise, repentance, thanks, intercession, and supplication.
Lord, You have established America through the hearts of our founding fathers and the documents they penned declaring our dependence on Your sovereignty and supremacy. We overflow with gratitude having been firmly rooted and built up in our faith in You.
Let our reputation be of our faith in Christ alone, our love for all people, and fruitful lives bearing the attitude, affections, and actions of Your Spirit, who dwells and works within us and through us.
We pray for America: the Church, Family, Education, Military, Workplace, Government, Arts, Entertainment and Media. United in Your love, we exalt the Lord who has established us. In Jesus’ name we always pray, Amen!
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© Copyright 2022 Nancy C. Williams, Lightbourne Creative (text and photography)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.