Do we take our freedom to pray in this nation for granted? Even more important, do we take our freedom in Christ for granted?
We invite anyone who attends our church to meet for a time of prayer, seeking God’s will every Sunday morning before the first service. The speaking pastor for that day opens us in prayer and then individuals pray as they feel led in one of four circles.
This Sunday, as we moved into Independence Day week, I was struck by how little we appreciate our ability to come together in a large group to pray. There are many places in the world where that’s not possible.
I’m ashamed to say I sometimes approach my freedom to worship or read the Bible with disregard. I act entitled to both my freedom in this nation and my eternal freedom in Christ, removed from the sacrifice it cost to give them to me. I squander my freedom in Christ with things that entertain me rather than being fully focused on the God who provided both freedoms.
This Independence Day, let’s not only pray for those who lead our nation (1 Timothy 2:1-2) and our national freedom to worship but let’s humble ourselves before the Lord, thanking Him for the freedom He’s given us from the consequences of our sin.
I encourage you to craft your own prayer leading up to the Fourth of July this week, but I offer this Independence Day prayer from my book, American Psalms: Prayers for the Christian Patriot as a starting point:
A PRAYER FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY
You are to be desired by all nations,2 yet You gave great freedom to this country.
With celebration for our nation’s birth, I come before You with thanksgiving for the freedom bestowed on me each day anew. Praise be to the Lord who granted and preserves our independence! From our earliest days, You have made us a nation of strength and compassion because we sought your favor. John Adams was right when he wrote of Independence Day, saying: “It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
Have we forgotten that you are our deliverer, refuge, and fortress?3 It is You alone, our Creator, who endows us with the right to the life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness our Declaration of Independence speaks of. True freedom is not granted by a piece of paper, but through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our Savior:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 NIV)
Let us be forever watchful of our hearts, that we may not blindly fall into the slavery of sin and pride. Instead, let the skies above our land be a reminder of your hand in creation.4 Let their beauty direct us, with thankful spirits, toward Your will in America. Let us embrace the words spoken by Samuel Adams as the Declaration of Independence was being signed:
“We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.”
On this Independence Day, we do not celebrate our own accomplishments, but Yours through us. May you receive the glory for America’s greatness, and may we be faithful stewards of Your gospel to the nations.
1. Isaiah 9:6
2. Haggai 2:7
3. Psalm 18:2
4. Psalm 19:1-4
Adapted from the book, American Psalms: Prayers for the Christian Patriot | Copyright 2012, 2016, Joshua J Masters and Kingdom Knight Productions.
Joshua J. Masters is a pastor, author (American Psalms), and speaker. He has been featured on CBN, HIS Radio, and the Light Radio Network. He’s also participated as a SAG-AFTRA member in the film industry. Connect with Joshua at www.joshuajmasters.com