July 4th Prayer

Lord my God,
I worship you today,
on this 246th birthday of this nation,
these wonderful United States of America
in which I live.

I thank you for the freedom
to worship you publicly...
even as I ask you to show kindness and mercy
to those who lack that freedom
because they live elsewhere.

Thank you for all those
who have sacrificed for my freedom,
for those who risked
(and some who gave) their lives
to make this a free and independent nation,
for those in my nation's armed services, past and present,
and for all who have served the cause of liberty in other ways...
even as I pray for those who even now
are in harm's way,
far from home,
in this nation's service.
Please meet their needs,
watch over them and their loved ones,
and grant them your favor in every way.

And, Father, on this Independence Day 2022,
I pray for the people in this land
and every land
who have not yet discovered the freedom
that is offered to them in your Son, Jesus Christ.
Draw them to you,
set them free
from sin and sadness and strife,
and grant them the eternal freedom
that is found only in trusting you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Hear, O Hear My Prayer

Unto thee will I cry,
Shepherd, hear my prayer!
Poor and needy am I,
Shepherd, hear my prayer!
Deep is calling unto deep,
Rugged are the heights, and steep:
Guide my steps and keep;
Hear, O hear my prayer!
Hear, O hear my prayer!

Where the tempest is loud,
Shepherd, hear my prayer!
'Mid the darkness and cloud,
Shepherd, hear my prayer!
Let me hear thy voice afar,
Coming with the morning star,
Hear, O hear my prayer!
Hear, O hear my prayer!

Let the foe not prevail,
Shepherd, hear my prayer!
My resources would fail,
Shepherd, hear my prayer!
Order all my steps aright,
Carry me from height to height;
Yonder shines the light!
Shepherd, lead me there!
Lead me safely there!

(a prayer by General Albert Orsborn of The Salvation Army)

Consolation

Grant to all who mourn a sure confidence in your fatherly care, that, casting all their grief on you, they may fully know the consolation of your love.
Amen.

(revised slightly from the 1979 Book of Common Prayer)

Tell My Soul

Lord, my God, you gave me life and restored it when I lost it. Tell my soul that so longs for you what else you are besides what it has already understood, so that it may see you clearly. It stands on tiptoe to see more, but apart from what it has seen already, it sees nothing but darkness. Of course it does not really see darkness, because there is no darkness in you, but it sees that it can see no further because of the darkness in itself.

Surely, Lord, inaccessible light is your dwelling place, for no one apart from yourself can enter into it and fully comprehend you. If I fail to see this light, it is simply because it is too bright for me. Still, it by this light that I do see all that I can, even as weak ees, unable to look straight at the sun, see all they can by the sun’s light.

The light in which you dwell, Lord, is beyond my understanding. It is so brilliant that I cannot bear it, I cannot turn my mind’s eye toward it for any length of time. I am dazzled by its brightness, amazed by its grandeur, overwhelmed by its immensity, bewildered by its abundance.

(a prayer of Anselm)

Ten Times More

I love Thy skies, Thy sunny mists,
   Thy fields, Thy mountains hoar,
Thy wind that bloweth where it lists--
   Thy will, I love it more.

I love Thy hidden truth to seek
   All round, in sea, on shore;
The arts whereby like gods we speak--
   Thy will to me is more.

I love Thy men and women, Lord,
   The children round Thy door;
Calm thoughts that inward strength afford--
   Thy will than these is more.

But when Thy will my life doth hold
   Thine to the very core,
The world, which that same will doth mould,
   I love, then, ten times more!

(a prayer by George MacDonald, from Poetical Works, Vol. 1)