Prayer for the Fourth of July 2015

Thank you for the flag rippling in the breeze.
Forgive me disrespecting the flags of equally proud nations.

Thank you for freedom to worship.
Break my heart when I see burned churches in South Carolina and bombed churches in Iraq.

Thank you for our quest for racial, gender, social equality.
Open my eyes to the millions of little girls not allowed in schoolrooms or sold for their bodies; to women hiding behind locked doors; to mothers afraid for their black sons on my country’s playgrounds.

Thank you for freedom of movement and travel.
Help me give more to those needing blankets and food and clothing because they move not from desire or opportunity but from fear of an invading enemy.

Thank you for blessing my country.
Forgive me for assuming we are good and thus deserve such blessing, for not generously sharing my blessing to others, for placing my United States citizenship above my Kingdom of God citizenship.

Thank you for the freedom to earn a living.
Forgive me for shutting my heart to those who must beg because of caste systems, for five-year-olds dipping water out of germ-infested ditches to slake their families’ thirst.

Thank you for government—though flawed by sin—that seeks to provide freedom.
Convict the despots who rule with guns, the oppressors who steal from the poor to fill their own coffers. Bring even to these the light of your salvation.

Thank you for men and women who fight and die to protect us.
Forgive me for placing my protection above the protection of others, for assuming that might is right.

Forgive us for working harder for ourselves and our country than for you and your Kingdom.

Forgive us for protecting our so-called freedom more than protecting the least
in the world who have never tasted freedom.

Teach us how to faithfully, creatively, bravely, lovingly, gracefully
walk like Jesus as exiles in this country until we reach your Promised Land.

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