July 4 - Pray for the Nation
July 4th is Independence Day for the United States of America, celebrating their independence from England some two hundred years ago. While celebrating freedom from being a British colony, America should not ever seek independence from the Creator God. The Declaration of Independence from England should go hand-in-hand with a declaration of dependence on God Almighty. No man can live independently from other human beings and apart from God.
Paul was a citizen of Rome, although he was born a Jewish person. Born in Tarsus in Cilicia but brought up in Jerusalem, he spoke both Greek and Hebrew. Being a cross-cultural person, he could minister to the Jews and the Greeks. No wonder he was appointed by God to reach the Gentiles, and his missionary career ended in the city of Rome. While Paul had great love for the Jewish nation and people, he was not called to minister to them. In the Epistle to the Romans, he bore his soul and prophesied the return of the Jewish nation to the Lord.
All Christians have dual citizenship, an earthly citizenship and a heavenly citizenship. While our ultimate loyalty is to our heavenly city, we also have obligations to our earthly city and country. Praying for the peace of Jerusalem has been a recurring theme in the Old Testament and we have a duty to pray for our country and its government as well.
The psalmist prays for the victory of his king, David against foreign powers. He also prays for the next generation in his nation that young people might grow up to be the pillars of the palace. He blesses his country to have abundance, full of all kinds of produce, filled with sheep and cattle. He prays against mishap, barrenness and miscarriage with the animals and also with the prosperity and peace of the people. His conclusion is: “Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!”
If you have dual citizenship or you have immigrated from one country to another and have received a naturalized citizenship, you are like Paul. Do you have love for the country of origin and pray for that country and the people? Are you active in the land that you are living in and pray for the government and prosperity of that land?
If you are like the psalmist, the citizen of one country, do you bring the country before the Lord? Have you seek the prosperity of the people by blessing them? You may join the psalmist in how to bless your own people, beginning with the young ones, the future of the nation. Being patriotic is not just celebrating the country’s birth but to pray for the country to turn to the Lord. Begin now to intercede for your own country and people.
Ps 144:9-15 2 Kgs 23:31-25:30 Acts 22:17-23:10 Prov 18:13