Tuesday, January 22, 2013

7 simple prayers for America: From Kelly Clarkson's My Country, 'Tis of Thee

Yesterday, Beyonce, James Taylor, and Kelly Clarkson sang at the inauguration of Barak Obama. 

All 3 performances moved me for different reasons. 

But the one that moved me most was Clarkson's performance of My Country, 'Tis of Thee, written in 1831. It served as the de facto national anthem before The Star Spangled Banner was adopted in 1931.

One of the verses of the song is a prayer to God. Clarkson finished with that verse yesterday. The 7 lines are powerful and profound.

Our father's God, to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!

In 1831, Lowell Mason wanted a song to perform at a children's Independence Day program at Park Street Church in Boston on July 4. So, Samuel Francis Smith, studying to be a Baptist pastor at Andover Theological Seminary, wrote the lyrics for Mason in just 30 minutes. The melody used was and is that of the national anthem of the UK, God Save the Queen.

Would you take some time now to pray to God for our nation using this short verse of 7 lines as an inspiration? After all, we have been commanded to pray for our nation.

"First of all, then, I urge 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" (I Timothy 2:1-4). 

We can echo Smith's prayer for America written 182 years ago. Use the 7 lines as fuel for your prayer for the USA. In your own words...

1. ... thank God for being the God of our forefathers.
2. ... worship God as the Author of Liberty.
3. ... praise God as the only One who is worthy of songs of praise!
4. ... ask God to shine His light on our nation.
5. ... ask God to help us defend freedom so that everyone can pursue holiness and walk in the light.
6. ... ask God to protect us with His sovereign care.
7. ... praise Him for being a great God, pronounce Him as your king today, and ask Him to increasingly become king over more and more of the USA in 2013 and beyond.

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