A Veteran’s Day Prayer
I recently blogged about patriotism’s place in our worship services, most importantly asking that we be very thoughtful and purposeful about what we do/say/sing on those certain Sundays that fall near patriotic holidays. Having posed some very difficult questions for all of us, I found myself wrestling more than ever this week with how to approach the worship service before Veteran’s Day at my church. Ours is a very multigenerational congregation and we have a lot of folks who are very accustomed to bold expressions of patriotism being an integral part of such church services. I wanted to be sensitive to them while, at the same time, being sure to keep the focus firmly planted on Christ and His Kingdom.
The thought occurred to me that Sunday’s such as these might serve as perfect opportunities to engage in the kind of prayer Paul once urged Timothy to pray regarding governing authority. I tried to keep my remarks conversational rather than reading it straight off the page, of course. Feel free to steal any ideas you think you could use in your context (the video is followed by the “transcript”):
1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.
– 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NLT)
We are instructed to pray for our national leadership so we can “live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity” because God wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. With that end in mind, I’d like us to take an opportunity for such a prayer as this nation prepares to honor the veterans who work to defend the peaceful & quiet lives we enjoy.
As I pray, please do more than listen in. Please pray also in your own heart and mind.
We, your church, call on Your mighty name on behalf of our nation because we know You are the King of Kings, ruling over all nations. No world leader here or abroad holds any power accept that You allow it.
We do not pray simply out of a desire for You to enrich our economy or to see our personal political agendas succeed. Rather, we humbly ask Your will be done for the good of Your Kingdom. Work in our nation and in the hearts of our leaders so that we might better live godly lives. And so that more of our fellow countrymen might be saved and understand the truth.
Finally, we do pray for those who have served in our nation’s military and those who serve even today. We thank you for the peaceful, quiet lives they defend.
All this we pray by the authority of Jesus Christ,
And we stand in agreement by saying…Amen.
Please make it a point to show the love of Christ to a Veteran this week.
What have you done (or seen done) on “patriotic Sundays” that tastefully kept the focus on worship and Kingdom-first?