"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.” President Abraham Lincoln
These words are from well over a century past, but they seem to me to be so sadly true for the present day.
Gracious God of the Nations,
I realize I can hardly sing "God Bless America." You have already richly blessed us, and we Americans have all too often been prideful, arrogant, and deluded that somehow we "deserve" the special blessing of this rich land and our power and prosperity. May we Americans not be too proud to thank you for our many blessings, to seek you first, and to humble ourselves before you. God, I ask not for blessings, but for your mercy, for right thinking, for compassion, generosity, conviction and strength to do what is right as best we can. Give us the courage and boldness to make the right choice even when it costs us. May we remember the widows, the orphans, the homeless, the prisoners...the least of these among us. May we give to others as if we were giving to you...our time, energy, talent, finances, focus, and passion. Forgive us our sins, O God and grant us mercy and pardon as we seek your Kingdom first. Amen