A Prayer for the Fourth of July

A Prayer for the Fourth of July July 1, 2019

Gracious God, lover of souls,

You have made us for community,

 

For relationships fixed in time and space,

Woven through common experiences,

 

Inspired by shared struggles.

Dedicated to common goals.

 

We give thanks for this nation of ours,

For its commitment to liberty,

 

For the vision of its founders,

For the bravery of its citizenry,

 

For its defense of the weak,

For its love of justice.

 

We give thanks for our fellow Americans,

For their goodness and generosity,

 

For the dreams that brought us all to this land,

For the genius and industry of every generation,

 

For the rich tapestry of our cultural heritage,

For commitments that have made many, one.

 

On this day of national celebration,

As we mark the anniversary

Of this great experiment, 

We pray…

 

Strengthen us in our resolve to act justly,

To care for the weak,

 

To defend the persecuted,

And to foster freedom and peace.

 

When we fail,

Make us quick to confess our faults,

 

Strong enough to amend our ways,

And mindful of the inheritance entrusted to us.

 

Defend us, we pray, against

Tyrannies that challenge us from without,

 

Ideologies that erode from within,

And the carelessness that so easily invades our hearts.

 

Make us worthy of the sacrifices made by so many,

Inspire us to own for ourselves the best of our traditions,

 

Lend genius to our efforts,

And instill virtue in our children.

 

And remind us all, that we enjoy this land of ours

For only a brief time,

 

As the place where we do our work,

Delight in our families,

 

Care for our neighbors,

And nurture our faith.

 

For one day, all nations and races

Will appear before your throne,

 

Measured by your justice,

Redeemed by your grace,

 

Dependent upon your love,

Indebted to your wisdom.

 

Guide us, then, we ask.

Let us never confuse the gift we have been given with the Giver,

 

Let us never confuse our will with yours,

Let us never suppose that our lives matter more than those of others.

 

Lead us, instead, to live out of gratitude,

And serve with abandon,

 

Confident that our lives

And the life of our nation is in your hands.

 

Amen.

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