As part of our Sunday services, we do a pastoral prayer. Sometimes these are more spontaneous and cover several topics. Sometimes they are written out beforehand and focus on one specific theme. Here is the prayer we’ll pray for the week of July 4th.

Dear Lord Jesus,

You are Creator of all people and sovereign ruler of all nations. You allot times and boundaries for every nation in the world. Nations come and go and change, but you remain the same forever.

More than this, you are creating a people for your own possession and pleasure and glory from every tongue, tribe, and nation. You have called us from before time began, you have purchased us by your blood, rescuing us from our sin and guilt and from your just wrath, and you have awakened us to true faith and repentance by your Spirit.

We thank you for the identity you have given us as your beloved children. We thank you for the fellow believers you have given us to love as brothers and sisters, beginning in our local church and extending around the world.

We acknowledge that our greatest identity and hope and joy is belonging to you and your people, and we repent of allowing other identities to become greater, whether national, racial, familial, career, accomplishments, individual, or group.

As believers, we are yours first and foremost. You are our king. You will reign forever, and your kingdom will never be shaken or come to an end. Wee are secure in you.

But on this week of national remembrance and thanks, we do want to thank you for the blessings we have in this country, and pray for brothers and sisters who don’t have such blessings.

We thank you for a country where we can freely worship you, and not risk our lives to gather with your people. We thank you for a country where we can share your gospel with others and at most, risk ridicule and rejection.

We thank you for a country where we have a voice in leadership and decision-making, and where Christians can serve in various leadership roles.

We pray that lack of difficulty and persecution in these areas would not lead us to become complacent, apathetical, or to disregard the urgency and significance of our identity and calling, as has so often been the case with your church in times of prosperity.

Remind us that no matter how good things are, we are always in the middle of a war between the powers of light and truth and the powers of darkness and deception. Keep us diligent with the weapons of prayer, your word, and your church community.

We pray for our brothers and sisters in other places in the world who suffer for their faith in you. Who risk careers, family, and life to read their Bibles, gather with the church, or share the gospel. Give them boldness, give them assurance of your presence and grace, give them hope in your ultimate victory and their vindication, and bless their faithfulness.

Give us as a church opportunities to fellowship with, love, and support our brothers and sisters around the world. We thank you for the opportunity to be a part of Josh and Amber Harrington’s ministry work in Indonesia, and ask that we would continue to be a blessing to them.

Bless and increase your church in every part of the world, including here in Stanwood-Camano. May your kingdom come and your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. In our lives and in our churches.