Father in Heaven,
We come before Lord to thank you for America. Thank you that before the foundation of the world, you selected us to live here; to raise our families here, and represent you to those around us who’ve never met you. We are grateful for this privilege, Lord, and stop to give you praise.
Just as you selected men and women in Scripture to fulfill strategic roles in your plan for the nations, you also intentionally called us to live here in the United States, in this season of time, for this hour.
We were not set on this earth during the Age of Discovery. We weren’t called to be explorers, discoverers, or even founders of America. We aren’t pioneers or settlers of the vast region that piece by piece, territory by territory, and state by state became the country that we now call the United States of America.
No, Lord, your destiny for us was to participate in this nation’s history during the twenty-first century and lead it into a new era. We are Millennium Ministers assigned to take your unfailing and unchanging message of hope to a nation that has been captured by an insidious addiction to constant diversion.
John Winthrop, Puritan leader and governor of Massachusetts, desired that the New World become a beacon of light to other nations. He longed for this land to be the shining city set on a hill that Jesus referred to in Matthew, Chapter five. But we are not that. So we come to you Lord and ask for your intervention. Return us to our foundation, to our heritage, and to your destiny for us as a nation and to your destiny for us as your church.
We can only become that shining city when the hearts of America’s people turn to you, Lord. Help us see, Father, that it is not our productivity that you want. You don’t want the work of our hands – our industry; rather, you want the surrender of our hearts. Politics will not cure America’s heart. Science, technology, law, or philosophy won’t fix it either – only a revival sent from you for your church can restore America from within.
We are desperate for you, Lord. America will never fully shine from atop that hill until your church experiences the freedom in Christ you intended. You came to set us free, yet we have turned that very freedom into opportunities for the flesh. We have bound ourselves to our own culture’s excesses and temptations. Forgive us, Lord, we come now in repentance and ask for your restoration.
Father, remind us that liberty never travels without its companion; sacrifice, and that sacrifice never travels without love. When we are tempted to forget the physical sacrifice America’s soldiers have made on our behalf, remind us that it was their blood that bought this nation its freedom. In the same way, Lord, remind us that it was the sacrifice of your blood that bought our spiritual freedom when your own son paid the ultimate price for our redemption…
…And this you did because you loved us.
Lord, America’s soldiers have become some of our greatest teachers. They teach us the significance of duty, honor, and sacrifice. They show us how to persevere in the face of extreme trial. We ask that you hear the hearts of our soldiers. Some of our service members serve around the world, and some worship here with us today. Regardless of how many years have transpired between their military service until now, Lord, may we never take their sacrifices or their needs for granted. Fill them with the assurance of your presence in their hours of fear, doubt, or even despair; and provide them with hope when they feel hopeless and peace when their spirits are in turmoil.
Father, this nation was founded on the work and character of many high-caliber men and women you selected to lead us. We ask that you again bless us with gifted leaders for our nation, our state, and our city. Grant us wisdom and discernment, Lord, as we participate in the election process in the coming months. May our minds and hearts be attuned to your will for us in this hour.
When President Reagan said farewell to the nation he had served for eight years in January of 1989, he affirmed John Winthrop’s prophetic call that America was to become the shining city on a hill that would serve as a beacon of hope to the nations of the world. President Reagan believed America to still be a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the lost pilgrims hurtling through the darkness, toward home.
May we, on this Independence Day, stop and remember those who desperately need freedom and consider what sacrifices we must make to procure it for them. May we remember those who hurtle through the darkness, and step in with the Good News that the Light of the World has come to light their way home to true freedom found in Jesus Christ.
In the precious name of Jesus who desires to lead us all to freedom, Amen.
(Copyright © 2009 by Jane Cook, Jocelyn Green, and John Croushorn. Published by God & Country Press, an imprint of AMG Publishers – All rights reserved.)