Patriotic fervor may power your prayers at first on the 4th of July, but consider these Bible verses as well.
Most countries celebrate their independence or national identity with a holiday such as Independence Day (July 4) in the US, and Canada Day (July 1) in—you guessed it—Canada.
Such celebrations usually include parades, concerts, fireworks, food and more. They can be inspiring and meaningful. But one of the best ways to celebrate your country and community is to pray.
While there are a thousand ways to pray, some are better than others. It may be easiest to pray according to a momentary emotion or patriotic fervor, but it is much better to pray biblically, such as one of the following:
1) For leaders
1 Timothy 2:1-15 (ESV) urges “that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
So pray for the leaders of your country, city and community. Pray for them to make decisions that promote peaceful and quiet lives for all citizens and allow the spread of godliness, dignity and truth.
2) For peace and prosperity
The prophet Jeremiah wrote to his fellow Jews who were in exile in Babylon, “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper" (Jeremiah 29:7 NIV). You can do the same, wherever you live. Pray for the peace and prosperity of your city, state, and country.
3) For humble, praying servants of God
Ask God to move his people to humble, prayerful repentance, and so fulfill 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (ESV).
4) For those serving in the military and civil service
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon in the days of the ancient judges, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior” (Judges 6:12 NIV). At the time Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to hide his family’s livelihood from oppressors who might confiscate it or conscript him. Hardly mighty or warrior-like.But the angel pictured a different future for Gideon and his people.
Similarly, one way to pray for your country is to remember those serving in the military or in other demanding roles of civil service. Pray for God to protect, strengthen and encourage them in their lives and in their work.
5) For productive industries, businesses and services
You may not pray exactly the prayer of David in Psalm 144, but it can suggest a helpful way to pray for your community or country. He said, “May our cattle be heavy with young, suffering no mishap or failure in bearing; may there be no cry of distress in our streets!” (Psalm 144:14 ESV). So pray for the industries, businesses and public services in your area to thrive.
These suggestions will work wherever you live. They may not express everything you want God to do for your community and country, but they do give you a biblical framework for your prayers, not only on Canada Day or Independence Day but any day.