Summary: Patriotic 4th of July Message We need to pray fervently, live faithfully, and witness fruitfully in order that we might rescue our great nation.
For God and Country
On July 4th, we celebrated 232 years as an Independent nation. But did you know that July 4th is not the original independence day? That’s right, the original independence day was July 2nd 1776. That’s when the members of the Continental Congress voted in favor of Independence from Great Britain. However on July 4th, 1776, Congress voted to approve and ratify the final wording of the Declaration of Independence. -- Just a bit of trivia for you.
56 men signed the Declaration of Independence. What happened to those 56 men? Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Several of the signers lost entire fortunes as their businesses were destroyed by the British. Two lost their sons who were serving in the Revolutionary Army. Some were driven from their wives never to see them again. One had two of his sons captured. Five of the actual signers were captured by the British, counted as traitors and tortured before they died. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War. We owe so much to these brave patriots, who risked everything for this country. As Americans, we walk in the footsteps of heroes, who have given their lives for this land.
I ask you the question this morning, “What are you doing for America? Over 40 years ago, President John F. Kennedy laid a challenge before the American people. He said, “Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.”
What can we Christian Americans do for our country? The Apostle Paul lived under the rule of the Roman Empire. In fact, he was a Roman citizen doing his best to obey the Roman law. Even though the Roman government was far from perfect, the Apostle Paul saw that it was his responsibility to do what he could for his government and all those in authority.
What can we do for our country? The Apostle Paul lists three specific things in these four verses that can have untold impact on our country. Do you want to be a Christian citizen who actually makes a difference in our great country? Then follow these three assignments.
First, we must pray fervently. It says in verses 1 and 2, “I exhort therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men. For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
Do you pray for our country? If you don’t pray for our country then now is the time to start. This year is a crucial year. There is probably more at stake in the upcoming election than there has ever been before. Do you pray for revival in our land? Do you pray for the defeat of Satan’s plans for our country?
Don’t ever discount the power of prayer. Don’t make the excuse that it won’t do any good. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (II Chron. 7:14)
Prayer has been vital to our country from its foundation. During those terrible days, when the Revolutionary Army camped at Valley Forge, a farmer was walking towards the camp. As he stepped forward he heard a voice in the distance. It was an earnest voice. It sounded like someone praying. He stepped closer to see through the trees and spotted a sight he would never forget. He saw George Washington on his knees, his cheeks wet with tears, praying to God. It was reverent moment.
When the farmer got home, he had to tell his wife the news. “George Washington will succeed! The Americans will secure their independence!” “What makes you think so, Isaac!” asked his wife. The farmer replied: “I heard him pray, Hannah, out in the woods today, and the Lord will surely hear his prayer. He will, Hannah; thee may rest assured He will.” God did hear George Washington’s prayer and the fight for freedom did succeed.
If George Washington could humble himself to pray, shouldn’t we go on our knees for our nation?
It says in verse 2 that we are to pray for “kings and all that are in authority.” Do you pray for President Bush? Do you pray he would make wise decisions? Do your pray for our nations leaders, that they would stop turning from God? We have an awesome privilege here to influence the leadership of our nation starting in the highest office.
A few years ago, Brother Layman from the Salem Wesleyan Methodist Church shook hands with President Bush at a rally. He only had a short moment to tell President Bush, “I pray for you every day.” As Brother Layman left the President, tears glistened in the eyes of our President. President Bush understood that prayer does make a great difference.