Heavenly Father, Thank You for who You are and for what You have done! We come before you on a day that celebrates our national beginnings. May this holiday also be a day for us to celebrate the grace, hope, and peace that is ours in Christ Jesus. As we look back to our national beginnings and look around at our present circumstances, we cannot help but find our fountain of joy becoming an immeasurable sea of gratitude.
When our founding fathers wrote the now immortal words “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness . . .” they were little more than a distant hope. But You, O Lord, honored those words and allowed the birth of a nation that rooted the action of a divine Creator in its founding DNA for history and the world to see. None of the 56 men who signed that document at grave risk of losing their lives and possessions could have known what would follow. From the terrible uncertainty, monumental challenges, and heartbreaking losses unleashed in their lives on that long ago July 4th emerged the most free, the most powerful, and the most prosperous nation in human history. The smoke and chaos of their legendary battles dissipated long ago. Cannon balls and bullets that took so many lives in those days were buried by time and are now unearthed as valued antiques to decorate homes and add value to collections. Revolution now, whatever the cost was the cry of that day. By your grace and mercy, O Lord, glorious triumph again and again through the years are the memories we celebrate today. You, Father, made the uncertain seem inevitable.
O Lord, May our reflections on the differences between that July 4th and this July 4th remind all of us who face the chill of uncertain circumstances, the danger of physical, medical, and emotional battles this very day, and the loss of who and what we cherish what it means to be Your child. Because of Jesus, God is our Heavenly Father, not a stranger who could be friend or foe. Because of the cross and resurrection, our failures are never final and our brokenness will always be restored. Because we are in God’s grip, we know the stories of our lives will always have a happy ending. We bring before You all of the hurts, uncertainties, and challenges we face today, but we beseech You, help us to see them by looking back from tomorrow, when we will celebrate the Triumph and Victory that we know is coming. As we pray with aching, troubled hearts today, remind us that because we are Yours, Triumph is coming. Perhaps now. Perhaps soon. But definitely eventually, triumph is coming. Victory is inevitable.
And so dear Father, We ask You to hear us on this day and give us what will make all the difference as we bring our needs and desires to You. Give us afresh the assurance of the day that will one day come. Give us the perspective that will enable each of us and all of us: those of us in confusion and tears, those of us in battle and turmoil, and those of us who happen to be holding a victor’s crown on this day, to sing the same song: Glory, Glory, HALLELUJAH!