The Book of Common Prayer offers a prayer “for our country” in thanksgiving for Independence Day and the unique freedoms we are afforded in the United States of America: Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance; and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Before, during, and after July 4th, we are called to pray for our country as well as all nations of God’s world. If we read closely the prayer “for our country,” we find rich words and images of brokenness and hope that reflect a common humanity and creation. Even as we live freely on different soil and seek peace among the nations, our Baptismal Covenant calls us to be more like Jesus and to learn increasingly that all people are created equally in the image of the same God.
America and all the nations of the earth are blessed, will continue to be blessed, and become better as we reach out to one another in love and prayer. I ask your prayers.
–The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector