May God Bless America – Ray E Horton
The United States of America recently celebrated our independence as a nation on July 4th. This patriotic song is a prayer for our nation:
God Bless America, by Irving Berlin
God bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home
God bless America, My home sweet home.
This is a beautiful prayer for America, written by Irving Berlin, who was of the Jewish faith. While it is not formally our national anthem, the lyrics embody our love for the land of the free and our desire for God’s continued blessing on our nation.
America has been teachable and willing to change for the right. We were founded on godly principles of freedom
Americans love America, not because we have been perfect; it took many years to overcome slavery and male-only suffrage and other injustices. We still have a way to go to fully overcome racism and to get morally back on track. But we have been teachable and willing to change for the right. We were founded on godly principles of freedom and have a constitution that begins:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Our Declaration of Independence as a nation contains the words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It ends with these words, “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.”
This nation is not perfect, but the principles upon which we were founded are intentionally godly, and I believe the Lord has honored that.
Throughout the last two-plus centuries, we have tried to live up to these principles, and to help and be an example to other nations.
Our foundation is right, and we still have a base of believing Christians under-girding this nation
So, you believe in American exceptionalism, you say. No, I believe that every nation has the opportunity to be exceptional when they try to follow the principles of God. The United States of America has stood out in this way. Yes, there have been U.S. governments not as good, we have grown materialistic, and there has been moral decay. But our foundation is right, and we still have a base of believing Christians under-girding this nation.
So you believe only Christians are exceptional, and not Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists and others? No, many people who identify themselves as Christians are no different than any other religion, trying in their own strength to accomplish the impossible task of living good lives. Only God is exceptional, and any person may participate in that exceptionalism by coming into a relationship with Him through the grace provided by the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, who sent His Spirit to dwell within us.
We humbly realize we are absolutely nothing of our own. Our self-righteousness, like that of all the world, and all religions, is as filthy rags, the Bible says. But, as we live by the Spirit and not our own flesh, trusting in God’s righteousness, we can accomplish all good things. That is the secret to all life, as the Bible calls it, “the mystery of the ages. And that is the renewed call to this nation, to be that city set on a hill.
So, no matter to what depths our country has fallen, its founding principles are there to be emulated. Spirit-filled believers throughout this nation, growing by large numbers daily, continue to fervently pray for our land and all those in authority, as instructed by the Bible, and in love with God and all men, expecting in faith to see restoration and revival. Even as the world gets darker, let us be a light in our nation, and bring that light to the world.
Our citizenship must first be of heaven. We are called to be ambassadors for Christ. Then we can be good citizens of our beloved nation.