Jun 21, 2012

Prayers of the People: Land of Freedom

If you're looking for a prayer of intercession for Independence Day (July 4 in the United States) or Canada Day (July 1), here's a suggestion.

Intercessory Prayer: For Our Country

We thank you, Almighty God, for this our country—our sweet land of freedom, a haven of hope and above all our home and inheritance.

We consecrate this day to the celebration of the sacred ideals of justice and independence, which brought it to birth. We praise you, our Creator, for our nation's beauty: its snow capped mountains, ancient forests and shimmering deserts; its mighty cities and its rural quiet; its roaring seashores, crystal clear springs, still lakes and coursing rivers; its hills and caverns; its ploughed fields and its echoing wilderness.

For everything good in the reasons that brought us here: a spirit of adventure, a triumph over all odds, determination for deliverance, desire for opportunity, a quest for education, a passion for exploring, love of family, a sense of mission we thank you.  For all of the many places from which we have come, that have given each of us strength to share, we praise and thank you. How blessed and rich we are in one another! From this vast reservoir of ability, intelligence and talent, O Lord, let us draw fully and together meet the challenges of our day.

Let us not rest, O Lord, until we have ushered in the day when children of every colour, creed and condition, male or female, may without barrier or impediment partake equally in opportunities to fulfill the potential with which you have endowed them. May we, who have so prospered under the blessings of our birthright, extend those blessings across every boundary of privilege and prejudice.

Inspire our determination to fulfill our nation's highest pledge. Grant that by the power of Your Holy Spirit we may with courage and wisdom contend with every tyranny yet unconquered in our midst.

Call to our remembrance the sacrifice and foresight of our nation's founding fathers and mothers, that we may not retreat into merely private pursuits, but rise to the call of duty in our day as they did in theirs. Grant that we, too, may live not merely for the present or for ourselves but that we may serve the future with action in accordance with our best traditions.

We, who are first citizens of Your kingdom, O God, seek Your guidance that we may be also good citizens of our country. Strengthen and enlighten us by Your grace that our love of our country may express itself in our love and care of one another.

Deliver us from meager sentimental patriotism. Give us hearts that seek to serve our beloved country, that our precious freedom be not idly squandered in vain and self-centered pursuits, nor perverted into the practices that deny it to others, but ever be directed to its safekeeping and to the preservation of that expansive liberty of mind, heart and will, which you, O Lord, first gave us. In the name above all names, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

— adapted from Worship Service for Our Nation, written for the 60th anniversary of India’s Independence Day, and used at the Memorial Church, Whitefield.
For more resources suitable for national celebrations, click on National Prayers in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page.