By Donna Riesen:
“If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”(II Chronicles 7:14, NKJV)
Lord, we come to You on behalf of America and on behalf of The Cove. We come in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, Who took on the form of humanity, lived a sinless life and died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. We come in a spirit of gratitude for what You have given. We come in a spirit of neediness for what we lack. Grant us the gift of repentant, humble hearts and trusting, faith-filled prayers.
As U.S. citizens we have enjoyed the blessings of tremendous freedom, but we have turned so many of these blessings into idols that have replaced You in our hearts. As we celebrate America’s Independence Day, we praise You for the freedoms we enjoy, but in dependence upon You we ask You to turn us from these idols of our own making. Grant us to know Your truth, for that alone will truly set us free from these idols of sin to which we have become enslaved:
FREEDOM OF SPEECH has been replaced with the idols of selfishness, bitterness and cruelty. May You continue to grant us as citizens the legal rights to speak our conscience fearlessly, to declare the truth of Your Word boldly, and to share our faith with others with gentleness, compassion and sincere love. May we never abuse this freedom by speaking with bitterness, cruelty or deception. After seeking Your face for courage and searching Your Word for wisdom, help us to speak the truth in love. Bless the words that are spoken at The Cove, whether from the Auditorium stage or on a telephone in a cubicle. May all our speech be honest and kind, seasoned with salt and glorifying to You.
FREEDOM OF RELIGION has given way to the lifeless, unmoving idols of apathy, shallowness and unbelief. May we never take for granted the great privilege of public worship. May Your church be unified in its mission of spreading Your truth and united in its purpose of glorifying Your Name. Lord, please convict us of sin, cleanse us with Your blood, and embolden us with the courage to smash our man-made idols of self-righteousness and dead religion. May The Cove’s mission of training people in God’s Word to win others to Christ be carried out with faithfulness, and may it never become an illicit or illegal activity in this country. We pray that we will remain free to carry out this mission without hindrance, but we also ask You to grant us the courage and commitment to stand faithfully for You regardless of the cost.
FREEDOM FROM FEAR has turned us to embrace to the cold, unseeing idols of detachment, disinterest and indifference. Lord, help us to pray faithfully for our military as they sacrificially place their lives on the line to preserve our freedom, but help us also to understand that no military branch, political party or system of defense will protect us from harm. You are our refuge and strength, Lord. Help us to rest peacefully in that truth. May Your peace and protection rest upon the property of The Cove. May You continue to make it a place where people will come to find respite and relief from the daily stresses and anxieties of life. May they return to their homes free from fear and full of faith.
FREEDOM FROM WANT has led us to worship at the altars of materialism, gluttony, greed and excess. We are foodies who post selfies of our super-sized platters and over-priced plates. We are insatiable consumers who have consumed our way into self-indulgence and selfishness. Thank You for the prosperity you have bestowed upon this nation. Forgive us for our ingratitude, selfishness and poor stewardship of our land, our finances and our blessings. Make us a more grateful, generous and wise people. Thank You for blessing The Cove. Help us to be good stewards of the spiritual, financial and environmental resources You have given to us here, and may we always follow Your leading in sharing them with others and making them available to those who are in need.
Lord, it is for freedom that You have set us free. By Your grace and mercy, help us to live in that freedom.
Happy Independence Day from all of us at The Cove!