Independence Day

Independence Day


O Lord, on the eve of Independence Day, we pray that you will make each of us aware of the solemn responsibilities which we face in defending our heritage of freedom. Remind us that without dependence upon you we will surely fail. Enable our President and those in political authority to do their work with wisdom and justice. Continue, O Lord, to be the protector and defender of us all. In your name we pray.  Amen.**


God, our Father, on this Independence Day we pause for a few moments to give you thanks for a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the principle that all are endowed by their creator of certain inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Life has been extended for rich and poor alike, dread diseases that cut short human life in infancy have been virtually eliminated. Now we grapple with the killers of our technological age - death on the highways, disorder proliferating from our stressful urban existence, heart attacks, hypertension, and cancer and the awful specter of nuclear holocaust. In the pursuit of life, help us to realize that it isn’t how long we live, but how we live long that is important.  Amen.


All peoples enjoy the gift of life, many enjoy the privilege of freedom; some enjoy the quality of courage. Life without freedom is intolerable. Freedom without courage is impossible. Military service has made courage a way of life. The courage of the past is in the hands of history. The courage of the future is in our hands. As we recall those who have fallen, let us rededicate ourselves to the tradition of courage. Give us a deep sense of reverence for life, a passionate desire for our freedom. Continue in us the courage of those who have woven this tradition into the history of our country. Amen


Almighty God, with gratitude we remember our heritage and our history. With admiration we salute our flag and cherish the values it represents. With respect we honor our constitution which proclaims the dignity of all persons. With reverence we hold dear the memory of all who gave their lives to make these things possible. With joy we celebrate this occasion and ask you to bless our food and our lives to do your will.  Amen.**


Lord God Almighty, in whose name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lofted the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and in peace.  Amen.


Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace. Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will.  Amen.


As a nation we were convinced early that we could not endure half slave and half free. No one can tolerate liberty as long as brothers and sisters are in chains or shackled by poverty or ignorance, or a denial of basic rights which enable them to contribute to the good of society. Our most elusive dream has been the pursuit of happiness, for no person can give happiness to another. It is a state which each must find individually. Help us to discover the secret that happiness comes not from pursuit or ingrown indulgence, but from sharing not just what we have, but who we are. Re-create in each of us the dreams of our founding fathers, who by your grace knew that where there was no dream, there was no destiny.  Amen.


We ask God's blessing on our country and all its citizens. May we who have the privilege of American citizenship always serve the nation worthily and with a good conscience. Encourage everyone to obey the Constitution and the just laws of the State and to give support, respect and obedience to those who represent that law. And thus, may our nation remain the home of the brave and the land of the free.  Amen.


O Lord, grant us freedom with discipline, motivation with understanding, and determination with compassion. O Lord, give us the will for self-preservation and the strength and power to help those who are willing to help themselves. O Lord, give us insight and patience, wisdom along with a sense of duty, and ability coupled with restraint to adjust to the changes in nature and persons. O Lord, show us your ways and never deliver us into the hands of any enemy. Bless us with your heavenly and earthly bounties and never let us be in want. Guide us in being friendly and generous toward one another. Instill in us faith and knowledge and let all of us have the ability to live at peace within ourselves. O Lord, show the people of our nation the right way to serve and guard the sacredness of all orderly freedoms. Let us realize that you have given us riches not given to any other nation under the sun. Let us be ever grateful and accept the responsibilities which they entail. You are our God and to you we would ascribe glory and honor, now and forever.  Amen.


We thank you, God for all that is good, beautiful, and delightful in our lives. We thank you for the marvels of the universe and the blessings bestowed on our country. We thank you for our big and little problems that help to keep us humble and human. Inspire us to share with open hands the many blessing and gifts that you have given to us. May we manifest our gratitude not only with our lives, but by living lives of goodness and generosity. Praise be to God.  Amen.


We thank thee for our inheritance for this republic built on the premise of the God of our Fathers, who didst kindle love, liberty, and faith. Bestow upon us her children, in our day, love for liberty, freedom, and peace for which our nation on this day stands. Never let our maintenance of liberty and righteousness faint. Show us the future that sends us forward, filled with pride and God’s love for our heritage.  Amen.


O God, who has offered freedom to all men, we give praise and thanks for this day which celebrates the bringing of freedom to some. In our celebrations this day; our joyful remembering the events that led to independence; help us to recall that we are never fully independent until we surrender in dependence to you and your will. We rest, as our liberty does, on the actions of others who have gone before. These “Forefathers” pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honors for the sake of liberty. Strengthen us so we may do no less.  Amen.


Lord of the nations, you have blessed our land with the spirit of love and freedom. You have also blessed our ancestors with the will and strength to seek out and maintain that freedom, and we thank you for that. Keep that will and strength alive in us today, that we may continue to strive for true freedom for all people. Let us never fall into complacency simply because we have what we need, but help us always to remember that until all are well fed, until no one is homeless, until none live in fear, not one of us is absolutely free. Our prayer today is that you, O God, would keep us firmly on the path that works toward such true freedom for all. Continue to bless our nation and all nations. Hear our prayer.  Amen.


God of our weary and silent tears, you have brought us this far on our way. We give you thanks for life, health and strength. We thank you for giving us this land and our heritage. Forgive us for the times we've thought only of ourselves and transgressed against ourselves, neighbors and you. Have mercy upon us. Bless the leadership of our nation at every level. Grant them the wisdom and courage to move our nation in a manner that will result in a productive economy, sound learning and a sensitive response to the needs of the populace. Grant us the wisdom and courage to always prove ourselves a people mindful of your favor and glad to do your will. Help us to rise above the human tendencies that oppress us and encourage oppression of others. Empower us to truly become "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." In your name we pray.  Amen.


Gracious master and our Lord, we come now to celebrate the birthday of our Nation. Many years ago our fore-parents came to this Canaan Land seeking the milk and honey of free expression, free thought, and a better way of life. As thou was with thy servant Moses in the desert, so wert thou with George Washington in Colonial America. Thou hast seen us through war, depression, peace, prosperity, social unrest and social change. Just as Israel continued her forward march, we continued our growth, maturing from thirteen fledging colonies to fifty harmonious states. We ask that thou will forgive us of our individual and national sins, for all have sinned and have come short of the glory of God. We pray that thou will give the leaders of our nation thankful eyes to watch over the billowy clouds of our bright days and steadfast eyes fixed upon thy fiery chariots through our dark nights. Father as we gather here today, we are mindful that two crowds celebrate and fellowship in this birthday event. There is the crowd we see and the crowd that we do not see. The former includes this body and our sphere, and the latter includes George Washington, Molly Pitcher, Booker T. Washington, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr, and many others. Most of all, dear Father, it includes your son, Jesus Christ, the Lord of the new Cannan, new America, new Earth and new Heaven. Grant us, dear Father, a place in thy eternal sunset where freedom, justice, equality and life reigns forever.  Amen.


We thank thee, O God, for our founding fathers, whose faith and freedom is both our heritage and our hope. May we have the courage they had to face realistically the burning issues of their day. May we have the spirit of trust in God which enabled them to believe when the days were dark and difficult, and may we in some measure pass on the heritage of freedom to our children's children, even as our forefathers have passed on to us the eternal torch of freedom's faith. We pray for this nation that it may ever uphold what is right, oppose what is wrong, and always strive to do thy will. Hallow all our work in this place. Impart to our waiting spirits the gifts of self-mastery and self-control. May no task seem trivial, no duty too small, no program without meaning, no day without its splendor. Hold us to truths higher than ourselves, to standards which keep us straining for improvement, to principles tested by time and confirmed in experience. May we go forth to our temporal duties with a sense of the transcendent and eternal in our hearts. In the name of our Lord we pray.  Amen.


God, source of all freedom, this day is bright with the memory of those who declared that life and liberty are your gift to every human being. Help us to continue a good work begun long ago. Make our vision clear and our will strong: that only in human solidarity will we find liberty, and justice only in the honor that belongs to every life on earth. Turn our hearts toward the family of nations: to understand the ways of others, to offer friendship, and to find safety only in the common good of all. We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.9


Heavenly Father, we invoke your presence and ask your blessing as we pause to remember the many blessings you have showered upon our nation since the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed in 1776. We seek inspiration for our lives, and for good and unified relationships with others in our community and in our nation. Grant each one of us the opportunities and the abilities to do our part in building a great state and a great nation. Make us see that this cannot be done by people who are mere coupon-clippers on the original costly investments made by brave soldiers and statesmen who have gone before us. Give us faith in God and love for our fellowmen that we may have something to deposit on which the young men and women of today can draw interest tomorrow. We know that a different world cannot be made by indifferent or cowardly people; so provide us with the energy to challenge, question, initiate, always investing our concern and pledging ourselves to try to bridge the gap between the “ought” and the “is”. Help us to live in the knowledge that you have matched us to this hour in history, and that the place and time of our service to you and to our country is not random, but by your wisdom and direction. Finally, Father, let us not imagine that the mere hearing of a prayer on the Fourth of July will suffice to achieve the righteousness that exalts a nation. Inspire each one of us here to see you and find you in daily, private prayer. And then, as you strengthen us individually, also make us collectively aware of what we can accomplish together - as a team that believes that “unless the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Watch over us and all the members of our armed forces this day and always. In Christ’s name.  Amen.


O Lord God, our Father, we are grateful for the abundance you have provided our land so that we could become a great nation. Lord, help us to realize that all you have given us is but a trust to be shared. Father, grant us the unselfishness and ingenuity to make your abundance available to all people everywhere. As we face these exciting days as a nation, grant us the vision to see your will and the courage to attempt it. May the faith and service and love that strengthened our forefathers so inspire us that we may serve the needs of our day without counting the cost, even as they did not count the cost in theirs. O, Lord, our prayer for our nation is that you will give us faith for today and hope for tomorrow.  Amen.


O God we pray for our beloved land. We need your help. We need your guidance, for our folly has clearly and repeatedly demonstrated that we can’t get along on our own wisdom. Help us, Lord, to see that all true Americanism exists only in being your men and women; that patriotism can have no other foundation; that it has no other roots. We pray, O loving and merciful God, that all across this land there may be a return to the faith of those men and women who trusted in you as they faced the danger and peril of the frontier, not alone in crossing the continent, in building their cabins, in rearing their families, in eking out a living, but also in raising a standard of faith to which people have been willing to return down through the years. Help us, the citizens of this nation, to want to do the right things. Instill within our hearts the right attitudes. Impute to our lives the right motives. May all that we say and do, spring from compassionate and understanding hearts. Make us willing, as individuals and as a nation, to seek as resolutely for righteousness as we have sought for riches, for you have told us that righteousness exalts a nation, but that sin is reproach to any people - even a people whom your grace and favor have spared the ravages of whistling bombs and whining mortars. Bless and guide those who nationally bear the brunt of responsibility for making our prayer of this day come true. Bless the President of the United States. Lift him above the claim of politics. Fill him with the Spirit of God that shall make him fearless to seek, to know, and to do right - whatever that may be. Strengthen and empower his cabinet, his advisors and the members of Congress. May it become a fact that we have a government composed of persons who know the Almighty God as the Commander and follow him as their Leader. May they place your will first in their prayers and in their lives. Bless - and save - this land that we love so much, O Lord, and help her to deposit her trust not in armies, navies, and air forces alone, not alone in stocks and banks, nor only in the achievements of the human mind, but may she trust in that righteousness which alone exalts any nation and by which alone peace can finally come to us. This we ask in your name which is above every name. O God.  Amen.


Almighty God, our loving Father, we approach your throne of grace this morning with hearts full of thanks for the two centuries of freedom our nation has been allowed to enjoy. We know that our nation stands because it is your will for us to stand and not because of our power or because of our technology. We pray, O Lord, that if it is in accordance with your Divine will that you will cause our nation to withstand the forces that would destroy it. Protect us, O Lord, from external attack and for internal decay. Remind us constantly that it is righteousness that exalts a nation. Empower us with your Holy Spirit so that we will act as salt in our society to preserve and purify it by melting the hearts of many which have been hardened by sin. We pray, O Lord, that you will use us as beacons to shine the penetrating light of truth and justice into the darkness of sin wherever we find people who are oppressed by the shackles of Satan and his servants. We praise you, O God, for granting us the most precious freedom of all - freedom from sin through the death, burial and resurrection of your Son and our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever else may happen to us, we know that the victory is ours through the blood of our Savior. Purify our lives of whatever evil is present. Wash us in the blood of the Lamb and cause us to stand pure and spotless in your sight. Grant us the determination to resist the Devil and his influence upon us. Cause him to flee from us as you have promised that he will if we will resist him. Draw near to us, O God, as we draw near to you. We pray, O Lord, for those whose hearts are burdened today with grief with concerns of any kind. We know that you love us and understand our needs better than we do ourselves. Comfort our hearts in the face of trouble. Give us the strength we need to go on with life. All of these blessings we ask in the name of our Savior.  Amen.


Almighty and eternal God, we give thee thanks for this nation’s freedom and for those individuals throughout history who have lived and died for our independence. We bless thee for the many opportunities this nation provides and for the pride we share in our accomplishments over the centuries. Grant that we may be faithful citizens always mindful of thy Lordship. This prayer we offer in thy holy name.  Amen.


Most gracious Father, in your name our nation came to be. Through your guidance freedom has flourished, the dignity and worth of all people have been made know. From our shores the hope of liberty has been broadcast, and America is that inspiration of all who desire democracy, justice and peace. Grant, most Holy God, that the people of this nation never hold unprized the achievements of our fathers. Give us grace to maintain our liberties and our vision. Strengthen in us a commitment that in obedience to your law this nation shall not flounder, and that we shall show forth your praise among all the nations of the world.  Amen.


O Lord God, Almighty Creator, accept our praise today. For generation after generation you have shown forth your almighty power. Your blessings have been ours from our very beginning as a nation. We thank you for the freedom that was won over 200 years ago. Help us to appreciate that freedom as we celebrate it today. We pray for those nations whose people are oppressed. Where they thirst for freedom, Lord, may their thirst be quenched. Where they hunger for peace, Lord, may their hunger be satisfied. We remember today how we have grown from thirteen states to fifty. We thank you that liberty is enjoyed, tyranny is abhorred, justice is practiced and hate is being conquered. Help us to remember what you have commanded. That we should act justly, love mercifully and walk humbly with our God. May we show forth those characteristics as a nation for the next 200 years. Help us, O Lord, to trust in you, to remember the lessons of our past, to be resourceful with the prospects of the future. Let freedom ring in our lives, our nation and our world.  Amen.


Vast God, as with each breath we have need of thee, remind us that we have a need of one another; that we have need of a great vision whereby this marvelous, chaotic, dreaming America comes true in our flesh; that we have a need to forgive one another because we are human beings, not gods; that we have a need to honor all persons. Therefore, daily and hourly brood among the various peoples of this land, continuing us always in that unity of life that arises out of patience with one another’s differences and out of concern to enact generously whatever advances the common good. And unto thee be all the praise.  Amen.1


Defend, O Lord, this gracious land from misuse of power, distrust of neighbor and stranger, corruption of the marketplace, the illusions of wealth; and give unto those allowed to govern us a due respect for thy sovereign rule over all nations, including our own, that they may be guided always by thy compassion for all peoples, thy vision of peaceable towns and cities everywhere, thy claim upon us to be a servant nation for the sake of all the world. Then by thy strength enable us to enact in our lives a patriotism whose first allegiance is to thy laws and thy ways; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.1


Lord God, before whose everlasting glory the nations rise and pass away: we pray for the grace to know and the will to do the things of honor, equity, and com-passion while our nation lives. As our founders worked to form a nation, let us work to form a family of nations. As they hoped for a place where free souls could live in dignity, let us be animated by the same hope and erase the indignities still inflicted on poor and outcast peoples. As they brought great courage and imagination to their tasks, help us to bring the same to ours, lest by small minds and selfish prudence we waste our inheritance.  Amen.1


All men and women enjoy the gift of life; many enjoy the privilege of freedom; some enjoy the quality of courage. Life without freedom is intolerable. Freedom without courage is impossible. The Air Force has made courage a way of life. The courage of the past is in the hands of history. The courage of the future is in our hands. As we recall those who have fallen, let us rededicate ourselves to the tradition of courage. Give us a deep sense of reverence for life, a passionate desire for freedom. Continue in us the courage of those who have woven this tradition into the history of our country.  Amen.


Lord God Almighty, in whose name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lofted the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the peoples of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace.  Amen.


Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will.  Amen.


God of our forebears, and our God, too; we pause on this special day to offer thanks for the nation in which we live. We are grateful for those of the past whose ideals and actions gave birth to these United States. May our worship today remind us of our roots and motivate us to do whatever we can to help bring to fruition the vision of one nation, under you, where there is liberty and justice for all.  Amen.13 (J. B.)


Creator God, who holds the whole world in your hands; we thank you this day for the part of your world called the United States of America. But may we never forget that we are part of a global village and that all people - red and yellow, black, brown, and white - are precious in your sight.  Amen.13 (J. B.)


God of our mothers and fathers, we worship this day conscious of the heritage that is ours and mindful of those who conceived and gave birth to these United States. May our gratitude for their efforts and sacrifices be shown by our striving to keep burning brightly the torch they lit - a torch designed to reveal to all a nation whose sovereign is God, the One in whom we trust.  Amen.13

(J. B.)


God of all nations, Parent of all humankind, Good Shepherd of all who will follow you; as we approach the anniversary of the birth of our nation we are mindful of the heritage we enjoy as citizens of these United States of America. For those who created a new republic sought to base it upon the foundation of noble ideals. They affirmed that all people are created with equal and inalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We confess, however, that all too often we have forgotten or forsaken the heritage entrusted to us by our founding fathers and mothers. Instead of making you our Supreme Judge we have followed the dictates of our own consciences, even when they conflicted with your divine will. Our guidelines more and more have become “Is it good for the economy?” or “Is everyone else doing it?” rather than “Is it right or wrong?” And instead of recognizing all people as your children and that we are all brothers and sisters, we have discriminated against and put down those who differ from us in color of skin, or in sexual gender, or in religious faith, or in economic status. Forgive us. And as we celebrate the birth of our nation may each of us resolve to do a better job of making ours one nation under you, with liberty and justice for all.  Amen.13 (J. B.)


Wise and wonderful God, Creator of the universe and ultimate source of life’s blessings, we pause in awe and humility as we ponder your greatness and your goodness. We are amazed at the world in which we live, with all of its natural resources and its natural laws that have brought order out of chaos. We are humbled by the miracle of birth and life, for they remind us that there is a power greater than we. As we approach another anniversary of the birth of our nation, we give you thanks for the heritage that is ours. For the Native Americans who saw you in the forces of nature - sun, moon, stars, clouds, rain - and who sought to conserve the land and animal life, we thank you. For the Pilgrims who uprooted themselves from their homeland and came to these shores so they could be free to worship in ways meaningful to them, we thank you. For the founders of our nation who affirmed “In God we trust,” we thank you. This morning we ask you to forgive us for not taking better care of those who were here before the colonists arrived and for too often despoiling the beauty and wasting the exhaustible resources of land and animal life. Forgive us, too, for taking for granted our freedom to worship, that too often results in our neglecting this facet of life. And forgive us for putting our trust in the many gods that sometimes crowd you off center stage - the stock market, the games we play, our penchant to please ourselves instead of you. As the Fourth of July dawns, may it dawn upon us that from time to time we need to examine our heritage and do a better job of caring for others, caring for our God-given resources, and caring about you! Amen.13 (J. B.)


O God, who is Ruler and Lord, impart your spirit to those who lead the destiny of our nation. We rejoice that you have set us in this great nation. We thank you for our country which has nourished and preserved us. Help us always to recognize the responsibilities that flow from our citizenship, and most of all to perform them with integrity and honor. Remind us often that to whom much is given, much will be required. Grant grace O Lord, to our leaders who daily make important decisions that affect the lives of us all. Give them strength of body, quickness of mind, and wisdom of the soul for their responsibilities. Bestow on them the will to act justly to all men and women. Purge them of self-indulgence. Remove from them lust for power. Broaden their vision to see that you have created a unique country where all people are considered equal and free. Through them save the people and bring the entire world to peace and harmony. What we ask for our own leaders, we ask for all leaders. Mold their wills to your will, and use them to prepare your kingdom of justice and love. In Christ’s name we pray.  Amen.