Oh beautiful, for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.
Oh beautiful, for pilgrims' feet
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw;
Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law!
Oh beautiful, for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
'Til all success be nobleness, and ev'ry gain divine!
Oh beautiful, for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years,
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea!
Samuel Ward: From wikipedia.com
I love our country. I was born here, grew up here, and will probably die or ascend into heaven (the rapture) from here. My memory stretches back about fifty years to this date and I can’t help seeing what has become of our nation. What was only a whisper and kept in closets for shame is now openly supported and taunted nation wide. But it is not my intent here to show forth our nation’s sins but to exhort those who believe in the power of prayer and who will do so to pray for our nation, not only today on this Independence Day, but on a daily basis.
Pray for our leaders:
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 1-4
We should pray for them for the obvious reason stated, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” This means we should pray for them so we can have peace in our streets; peace in our homes; the privilege of free speech, the right to preach and teach the whole Word of God without government harassment or their “framing mischief by a law” “Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?” Psalm 94:20
A ruler’s heart can be changed and turned as mentioned in Proverbs 21:1: “ The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” The “rivers of water” mentioned here are small channels of water as used in irrigation which can sometimes be changed with just the moving of dirt with the foot.
Seek the peace of the city:
Jeremiah wrote to those who were in captivity in Babylon the following: “Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. ” Jeremiah 29: 5-6 This is like the first admonition but it is here up to us to try to seek the peace of the city and live peaceable lives. Sometimes, doing the work of God is anything but peaceful in that we fight Satan and his followers but in general terms, we are to live peaceably and treat others as we want them to treat us. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” Hebrews 12:14
Do our best to obey the laws of the land:
We are exhorted to obey the laws that we are under. I feel that this should be done as long as Biblical teachings teach otherwise, but this is rare. An example would be if there was a law forbidding Bible reading, then we would have to stand for Christ and read our Bibles or find another solution. This is my opinion and this also comes with conviction but let me make it very clear that many use the Bible as an excuse to disobey the law when in fact it is not so.
“ Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” Romans 13:1-4
By reading the above scripture, it should be very clear why we need to pray for our rules. We should pray for the elections that will be coming up in 2008. It is important who will be ruling us. I’m not on a political soap box because right now I don’t know who I’d vote for….it’s more who I wouldn’t. But we, as a church, as a nation, need to pray. We get who we ask for according as to who God ordains. God is the judge but he makes judgment in light of what we are as a nation.
“For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.” Psalm 75:6-8
One more scripture that many are very familiar with……and it is true!
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14