Independence Day or Fourth of July as it is also known is a great celebration across the United States. It commemorates the Declaration of Independence of the United States, which took place on 4 July 1776. Today, we celebrate Independence Day with fireworks and celebrations with loved ones, as well as parades and baseball games. In this blog, we are going to take a look at the meaning behind Independence Day and some prayers we can pray on this day.
Independence Day is the day that the United States became a nation, so we celebrate its coming into existence. The Declaration of Independence was the culmination of a lengthy process of rejection of the monarchy of George III and the birth of a new nation. Its opening sentences are still famous today:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
So how can we pray on Independence Day?
Praying for our nation
There is a Biblical precedent for praying for the world and the land that we live in. You might also like this blog all about praying for the world.
God asks us to pray for our countries, saying that He will intervene when we do:
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
In 1 Timothy, Paul encourages believers to pray for their leaders: “I urge the, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2
In Romans, Paul encourages the believers that ultimately, God is in control: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Romans 13:1
Finally, Jesus taught us how to pray in the Lord’s Prayer, saying:
“This, then, is how you should pray:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.”
Independence Day prayers
Today, in the light of Independence Day, let us pray.
A prayer of thanksgiving for Independence Day
Father, thank You for the hard-won independence of this nation.
Thank You for the taste of freedom that we know and love,
Thank You that we get to become the author of our own stories,
Each day a blank page.
Help us to rise up and know that anything is possible.
Help us to steward this freedom well,
Knowing that with freedom comes responsibility.
Help us to use our freedom to help our neighbors in times of need,
To foster good relationships across political divides,
To respect the differences in all our brothers and sisters.
Thank you for the freedom You have given us,
Above all, may we serve You well with it.
A prayer for the Government of this nation on Independence Day
Father, thank You for this government.
Grant them wisdom, justice, and courage
as they are faced with difficult decisions every day.
May they fight for those who need it most,
and stand against corruption and greed.
Father, we ask for Your blessing on our nation today.
May we remember the freedom that has been won for us,
and use it to serve You well in the coming years.
A prayer for personal responsibility on Independence Day
Father, thank You for my freedom as an individual.
Give me the grace to be loving and welcoming to all those I meet.
Teach me to remain at peace with those I sometimes disagree with.
Help me to be tolerant and patient.
In freedom, help me to stay at peace with my brothers and sisters, each day of my life.
Show me if there is anywhere I need to change, anyone I need to forgive,
anything I need to do, to live well in this freedom You have given me.
Thank You that Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light.
A prayer for countries where there is conflict on Independence Day
Father, as we in this country celebrate independence today,
and the liberation from bondage,
we think of those who are in difficult situations.
We remember our brothers and sisters who have had to flee their homes
for political reasons, or for their own safety.
Lord, You said You had nowhere to lay your head when You were on earth, (Matthew 8:20)
and we think of those who have nowhere to call home at this present time.
May the reality of Your presence break through into their situation,
no matter how hopeless, and bring true hope, a chink of light in the darkness.
To finish, in 1 Corinthians, Paul talks about the freedom of the believer. Yes, we can do whatever we like, however, the point of freedom is to use it well.
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” 1 Corinthians 10:23-24
No, Paul says. We walk in freedom to show the most excellent way. And the most excellent way is love.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away… And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” 1 Corinthians 13:4-13
So that is how we live on Independence Day. In the freedom of great love.
Finally, we hope that this blog has given you some ideas on how to pray on Independence Day, this truly great day of freedom for our nation.