There are all sorts of ways to celebrate the Fourth of July, our annual Independence Day. Parades, fireworks, cookouts, flags, patriotic music and red-white-and-blue decorations of all kinds are just a few. But there is another way, too. Our nation's birthday can inspire prayer.
From Bob Hostetler, here are just five ways prayer can be woven into your Fourth of July celebration—or practically any patriotic display.
When you see the “Stars and Stripes,” don’t just cheer or salute; give thanks for your freedom even as you pray for those who don’t enjoy the same freedoms you do.
If you watch a parade, let the procession remind you—as the rank and file go by—of the cost of freedom in the past and beauty of freedom in the present. Then pray for the spread of freedom in the future.
When you see military uniforms, give thanks for those who have sacrificed in the past and serve in the present to obtain and protect the freedoms you enjoy. But pray also for peace among nations and all people.
If you indulge in a holiday cookout or Fourth of July feast, say a prayer of thanks to God for the hot dogs, chips, corn-on-the-cob and watermelon. But also ask Him to bless and prosper those farmers, grocers, and others who helped bring the food to your table.
Amid the oohing and aahing that accompanies fireworks, pray the words of Philippians 2:15, that you (and those you love) “may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (ESV).
Moments like these can deepen your appreciation of any patriotic holiday. In fact, add a few ideas of your own in the comments section below. After all, it’s a free country.
Explore the collection of slideshows and discover inspirational quotes, beautiful photos, and powerful stories of hope.