“When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one. ’ Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” Acts 4:24 -31
The Book of Acts begins with the ascension of Jesus, the Holy Spirit filling the followers of Jesus, Peter and other disciples making bold, Spirit-filled speeches, and the fellowship of believers who “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” It is a glorious time of the sharing, showing and growing of the New Covenant in the lives of the followers of Jesus, but we know it was not a smooth, easy road going forward. Those who wanted to maintain and strengthen their earthly power and prosperity would fight, imprison, and kill Jesus’ followers. Through every threat, persecution, imprisonment, and loss they continued to pray fervently with great faith and live as Jesus had modeled and mandated. Even the possibility of losing their lives would not dissuade them from obeying and glorifying Jesus.
As we step into all the celebrations of this Fourth of July weekend, I want to encourage you to read through our Declaration of Independence, including taking time to read the case, conditions, and justification for their declaration to absolve all allegiance to the British Crown. As you read through the document that declares our independence froman earthly crown, note the continual declaration of being fully dependent on the King of Kings who wears The Crown. They refer to God many times and conclude by saying,
“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved;… And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
Just as in Acts, our nation was founded on faith in God and a pledge to live, give, and even die relying on His sovereignty and supremacy and defending our fellow Americans as they live out the destiny of Liberty that comes from Christ alone.
Let’s praise God together and thank Him now:
Almighty God, You are the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. You are the Supreme Judge of the world, the Ancient of Days and the author of our days and destiny. Love, Life, and Liberty come from You alone; You are the Creator of all; You alone design and define these and our lives that we live for You. We thank You for our nation and continually lift her up to You that we might always proclaim that we are “One Nation under God,” and that we would bless You as we intercede and cry out for Your blessings. We proclaim our full dependence on You our Lord and Savior. We proclaim our full allegiance and love to You and Your Word. As we celebrate this weekend may we give You thanks as we continually love You with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. In the precious Name of Jesus, we always pray, Amen!
Serving Him with gladness,
National Day of Prayer Task Force