A Prayer on the Fourth of July
Written by Gabriel Rench on July 4, 2017
Our Heavenly Father,
On this July Fourth we give thanks that in your good providence you established us as a nation. Down through the centuries you have poured out blessings on us—blessings that we did not deserve, but for which we are profoundly grateful.
Among these blessings is the wisdom and foresight you gave to our fathers who founded this nation and structured our government. These were by no means perfect men, but, in many respects, they were honorable men, and we have directly benefited from their labors. So we thank you for them.
The greatest blessing to our country, of course, has been the spread of the Gospel. You have brought many sons and daughters to glory, and generations have believed in your Son and walked with you in faith. This has had the effect of storing up a massive reservoir of benefits and blessings in our culture, many of which we take for granted or fail to see they are downstream from the faith of those who came before us. Again, we thank you.
We confess that Jesus is Lord of these United States of America. Not just that He is Lord in some spiritual sense or realm, but that He is our actual King. From your right hand, He currently rules and reigns the nations of men, including our own. We are right now under His Lordship. But we also realize that we have rebelled against His rule. We have not obeyed His Word, and we have not honored Him as King. Therefore, we ask that in your kindness you would lead our nation to repentance. Do not leave us in our wickedness and disobedience, but raise us up.
To that end we ask that your Word would speed along and be honored. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Rom 10:17). So give us godly and courageous heralds of the Gospel, men who would know nothing but Christ and Him crucified. Give our nation ears to hear, and hearts to believe. Give new life to men, women, and children. Help us to walk in your commandments and to delight in your ways.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and we are desperately in need of wisdom. So that we might fear you rightly, let us see you for who you truly are—in your holiness and splendor. Also, let us see ourselves for who we are—from dust and prone to wander. Let us tremble in your presence. And then, let us lift our drooping heads to see the face of Christ, in whom we have been received, accepted, and approved.
Though we have been blessed in many ways, we still have troubles. We take great strength from the fact that have a Lord who has conquered Satan, sin, and death. Jesus disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame (Col 2:15), and He is seated far above all rule and authority and power and dominion (Eph 2:21). So, make our hearts steady and full of courage. Let us not be afraid.
Still, we have enemies. Let us love them with the Gospel and seek to do good to them. But to the extent that they oppose you, Father, let us oppose them with resolute hearts and steel spines. When they demand we call good evil, and evil good, let us refuse to lie. When they insist we applaud perverse sexuality of all stripes, let us sit on our hands. When they call the industrial killing of babies “reproductive rights,” let us stand tall on top of that great mountain of iniquity yelling, Stop!
We ask that you destroy the enemies of Christ among us. First, we ask that you destroy them through repentance. By the same grace that saved us, save them. Turn foes into friends and enemies into brothers. But if their hearts remain hard and hell-bent on the destroying others and they stubbornly refuse to submit the kind and wise Lordship of Jesus, then cut them down. Foil their plans, make their feet stumble, and break their teeth. Put them under the feet of Christ where they can do no more harm those who bear the image of God.
Give us real unity and harmony in our nation Lord. Give us real racial reconciliation and justice– the kind that Jesus brings, not the counterfeit justice the world peddles. Help us to count others as more significant than ourselves and to look out for their interests (Phil 2:3-4). Teach us to bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of God (Gal 6:2). Let us love our neighbors as ourselves.
Father, your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds (Ps 108:4). You are slow to anger and you are the very fountainhead of grace and mercy. You are worthy of the praise of every heart that beats. May you receive it. Let your Kingdom come and your will be done on earth—even in America—as it is in heaven.
We ask these things in righteous name of Jesus, Amen.