The Substance of Faith

The Substance of Faith

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A Prayer for Christian Citizenship

From Robertjrgraham.com

A significant number of hits for this site come from searches for prayers, particularly for prayers on perplexing subjects.   My commitment when drafting these prayers has been to keep them above the fray of partisan politics. For instance, I wrote A Prayer for Elected Leaders in 2015 – in anticipation of a divisive election – and before anyone could claim it spoke to one side of the American divide or the other.

A Prayer for Refugees and Strangers  appeared here before the current illegal alien debate.  Again, whatever side of the divide you lean, surely we Christians can see the need to pray for people adrift in the world.  Jesus did say, “I was a stranger and you took me in.”

I offer the following prayer in the same spirit.  Our citizenship should be shaped by the living Lord, Jesus Christ.   Not by which primary we vote in.  Our nation when we are united. Surely we stand a better chance of being united when we all reflect the Spirit of Christ in the way we conduct ourselves in all things.

Therefore, here is a prayer for Christian Citizenship.

Lord of all life, we who claim citizenship in this great land give you thanks today for the benefits of liberty and freedom.  Help us to use our freedom as an aid to do what is right without fear of punishment, rather than as license to do whatever we please without thought of consequences.

Teach us to live each day in a manner that honors those who died that we might enjoy these blessings.  Remind us often that the sacrifice of the brave was not to protect us from all self-denial on our part, but in the hope that we might bear a lesser cost to pass a good nation to our children and to their children.  In this country as in your kingdom, lead us to live in the gratitude of knowing something has been done for us that we have not done ourselves.  May our lives today honor what past generations have given to us.

Remind us by your spirit that this country has always been its best for its citizens when our individual lives reflect the angels of our better nature.  Remind us that the moral compass of our collective leadership in the world is never more influential than when we shine as a thousand points of light.   Therefore, lead us always to seek first your righteousness.  For if we know that if we live in a way that is pleasing to you we shall do our part in preserving this noble experiment of democracy and in spreading it to the world.

As we open ourselves to your Spirit, we see now that the best way to secure the blessings of liberty for each of us to live in a way that is worthy of your blessings.  Teach us therefore, to speak peace, to live charitably with all, to bear our individual responsibilities willingly and nobly, and to fulfill our obligations of duty and citizenship  with the same character that has made this country great.

Remind us that as much as we love this land, our highest citizenship is in heaven.  That Jesus is Lord of Lords and the ruler of our hearts.

Look kindly upon all your children, in whatever land the dwell.  Guard those who suffer merely for serving you.  Hasten the day when the freedom of Christ and the liberty of the Gospel comes to them as well.

In the name of Jesus we pray.   Amen

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Independence Day with Alexis de Tocqueville

Several years ago I decided to read some of the longer classic books.  One was Democracy in America, written by a French politician who toured the US and later summarized his observations of the American experiment for his readers in continental Europe.   Alexis de Tocqueville had keen insights into the American psyche.  Some of the things he wrote are instructive for pondering our history and the future of our culture. Many observations about us are as true today as they were in 1835.    On this Independence Day – enjoy.  All page numbers refer to the 1969 version published by Anchor Books.

  • In order to enjoy the benefits of society, one must shoulder its obligations. p. 14
  • Patriotism and religion are the only things in the world which will make the whole body of citizens go persistently forward toward the same goal. p. 94.
  • How can tyranny be resisted in country where each individual is weak and where no common interest unites individuals? p. 96
  • It has subsequently been found that by making justice both more sure and milder, it has also been made more effective. p. 105
  • The great cause of the superiority of the federal Constitution lies in the actual character of the lawgivers. p. 152
  • I admit that I do not feel toward freedom of the press that complete an instantaneous love which one accords to things by their nature supremely good. I love it more from considering the evil it prevents than on account of the good it does. p. 180
  • Consequently, when I refuse to obey an unjust law, I by no means deny the majority’s right to give orders; I only appeal from the sovereignty of the people to the sovereignty of the human race. p.255
  • If freedom is ever lost in America, that will be due to the omnipotence of the majority driving the minorities to desperation and forcing them to appeal to physical force. p. 260
  • The majority in the United States takes over the business of supplying the individual with the quantity of ready-made opinions and so relieves him of the necessity of forming his own. p 435.
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