Pastoral Prayer for Independence Day Weekend
Yesterday, I was blessed by our congregational prayer time led by one of our church’s pastors. I think this will bless you too, as you make it your own prayer of reliance upon the Lord.
Lord, thank you for such a beautiful day, thank you for your beautiful creation that declares your glory, your grace, your wisdom, your love, your providence, and your power. All who have eyes to see can see your glory and your evidence of your handiwork in your creation – your eternal power and divine nature are clearly perceived in what you’ve made.
Thank you for this country, Lord. For all its flaws, we are still most blessed. Thank you for the freedom to worship without fear. Thank you for the freedom to preach and teach your word – day by day, week by week. And even as we celebrate Independence Day, we recognize that we are not independent. Deliver us from hearts that demand independence. Especially independence from our creator God.
We know full well that we are completely and utterly dependent on the God who created us, sustains us, heals us, provides for us, and redeems us. One word from you and our days are over.
We resonate and agree with the psalmist who writes, “O Lord, how manifold are your works! The earth is full of your creatures. Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening. These all look to you, to give them their food in due season. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his work, who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke! I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord…Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord!”
Thank you for these dear people gathered here this morning and for those watching online. Thank you for their love for you, their love for one another, and their love for those who don’t yet know you. May we grow, together, to be more like Christ and learn to love one another with greater love, greater unity, greater peace, and greater joy.
Thank you for the way you are meeting our needs through your people. Thank you for the cheerful and faithful generosity of the body of Christ. May our tithes and offerings fuel greater outreach and greater disciple-making in our community and around the world.
And Lord, as we open your word this morning, I pray that you would sensitize our hearts toward your word. Humble us. Change us. Sanctify us. Give us soft hearts. May we receive with meekness the implanted word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
*This prayer was led by Ed Fedor, an associate pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Mayfield Heights, Ohio.