“Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” Colossians 2:6-7 NASB
This month we have continued to pray for our government, all the way from our president down to the smallest city councils, and every leader in between. This is strategic for the month we observe the 4th of July, a day that we as Americans celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence—the first major document where colonists made their collective intentions known to the British Crown that they intended to leave the empire and become an autonomous nation.
Years of war, thousands of lives, and hundreds of negotiations later, the United States of America first took shape with thirteen states.
The letter—as the Declaration of Independence was truly a letter rather than any sort of ruling document—didn’t just suddenly appear in history. It was preceded by several generations of colonists landing all along the east coast, including the Puritans, who we know were mighty intercessors and people of deep devotion to God. Other early settlers reflected faith in God as well; historians note that one of the first buildings raised in new settlements, regardless of location, was always a church to pray together and partake of Scripture as a united body.
There are clear connecting points throughout our nation’s early history that tell a story of God’s hand at work while our country was first being established —both ordinary people and leaders in our nation, deeply rooted in their Christian faith and dedicating their lives to serving their Heavenly Father and our growing nation. Our early government documents contain hundreds of mentions of the Almighty, Providence, and our Creator, further pointing out that our founders were influenced by their faith in God.
“Established” doesn’t mean completed or perfected. And praise God for that! From our view in history, we can see how our country has grown and changed since it was established, as intercessors prayed and fought for the overturning of slavery, for the outlawing of small children being forced to work in dangerous conditions, and for all citizens to be legally recognized with the right to vote and participate in our collective democracy.
Our nation has seen revivals, two great spiritual awakenings and sent hundreds of thousands of missionaries around the world to spread the Gospel of Christ.
America’s condition when it was established was not permanent—hope and change were on the horizon. This is true in our county, and it is true in our faith as well, because of God’s redeeming love for those who call on Him as Lord and Savior.
The disciple Peter was established in faith early on in Jesus’ time on Earth, but that faith was not perfected nor completed in the same moment it was established. When Peter confessed Christ as Lord, his most notorious sin was still ahead of him: denying Christ three times before the Lord’s crucifixion.
Jesus’s death on the cross meant that Peter’s sin was covered, and Peter could go directly to the Lord for both forgiveness and redemption!
Stubborn, impulsive, people-pleasing Peter was established in faith at a young age with all of his human nature and flaws still very much intact. But his story goes beyond just the foundation of his faith. He was deeply rooted in Christ for the rest of his life, being built up day by day as he walked with his Lord. Jesus knew Peter would go on bearing great spiritual fruit and foretold that this messy young man would be the bedrock for the Church, His own bride.
What grace! What abundance! What beautiful redemption that ONLY the Lord God Almighty could bring to pass in Peter’s life, in our lives, and in our nation.
Our prayer life as believers doesn’t stop because we profess Christ once. It grows, day by day, year by year. As we are built up in faith from our established foundation, we seek God’s face and boldly ask Him to reveal our iniquities and sins that we might ask forgiveness, purify ourselves in His sight, and become a sanctified reflection of Christ until we are perfected the day God calls us home into His presence.
Our prayer life, Peter’s faith, and our nation all have the same hope: after being established and firmly rooted in faith, we are built up and transformed by Christ.
When we ponder our government, we are glad to know that God’s hand was at work when it was established, and we overflow with gratitude that His hand has continued to mold our nation because of believers throughout our history who labored in prayer and action to see God honored across our country.
Will you pray with me now?
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your grace and mercy, in that while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me. I praise You for a firm foundation of faith in Jesus, and for using many believers to shape the foundation of this nation. I pray that our current leaders would be compelled to place their hope and faith in You. Move the Holy Spirit to transform their hearts, that they would begin living both their personal and public lives to glorify and honor You, Lord. Each time a life is transformed, I pray their sanctification process would have a massive ripple effect, with every life carrying the light of Christ shining brightly and overcoming every darkness in our nation. In Jesus name, Amen.
Peace and blessings,
Communications Coordinator, National Day of Prayer Task Force