“God bless America, my home
“What in the world is that?” exclaimed my husband, Terry,
making a quick path out to the front porch.
We had just moved into a
summer rental house across the street from a sleepy park. But from the sounds of
it, the park was not so sleepy! The gazebo was filled with band members and a
rather buxom woman was at the microphone. She was belting out patriotic songs in
a high soprano voice.
“That’s Madeleine. She’s practicing her usual ‘God
Bless America’ and other patriotic songs for the 4th of July all-city picnic
tomorrow,” our neighbor Bill explained from his front porch.
Terry and I replied in unison.
“Nice? That woman’s voice can break glass!
It’s like nails on chalkboard!”
Bill had a point. The voice did grate on
the nerves. Bill was plugging up his ears with two of his fingers. “This goes on
year after year,” he said and then quickly retreated into the silent confines of
I shuddered—not at the singer’s voice, but at Bill’s words
“year after year.” It made me wonder if any of us could be certain how many
years songs of God, country and freedom would be allowed to be performed
We live in one of the few countries where religious freedom is
still the norm. But even so God is sometimes taken out of public ceremonies and
celebrations. How much longer until songs like “God Bless America” are
“Lord,” I prayed silently, “what’s to become of
us? What can I, but one citizen, do to help the cause of freedom?”
still, small voice of the Lord answered my question with His Word: “Watch, stand
fast in the faith, be brave, be strong” (1 Cor. 16:13, NKJV).
thought of my favorite Bible passage, the account of Peter—a man who was sent to
prison for expressing his faith (see Acts 12). Peter’s situation seemed
hopeless. He was under the terrorism of four squads of soldiers, bound in chains
and kept between two guards. However, all the while, “Constant prayer was
offered to God for him by the church” (v. 5). The prayers of the people made a
difference—Peter was miraculously set free!
Prayer is how we “stand fast
in the faith.” It is access to God’s presence and power, so as believers in
Christ, we must pray! And just as the believers prayed for Peter’s
freedom, we must keep offering “constant prayer” for our country’s
This 4th of July, I challenge you to not only spend time
celebrating with others, but to also make time to fellowship with our Lord,
thanking Him for letting freedom ring—now and in the years to come.