Weekly Update

An Independence Day prayer

Jul 04, 2024

“The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.” (Zechariah 14:9, NIV)

Happy Fourth of July! Whether you are celebrating with a grill out around friends and family, serving the community through a church event or spending a quiet and relaxing day at home, I pray God’s richest blessings on you.

I would like to pause in this special edition of my weekly update to offer a prayer on this Independence Day. I shared a version of it on my social media accounts this past Sunday. I am sending a revised version here with the desire that you will join me in praying as well.


We come to you today in both deep gratitude and great need. We live in a country that has been blessed immensely. As we celebrate the independence of the United States of America, we are thankful for the freedom and the prosperity that we enjoy. The words of the familiar song resonate with us,

O beautiful for spacious skies For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

We recognize your grace, which has been poured out both over this country and, most especially, over your people called the church. In Christ, you have redeemed us and given us true freedom and deliverance from the bondage of sin. Thank you for saving us by grace through faith. We long for peace and harmony in the church and in our land as well.

In these recent days, many have been preoccupied with the future of this country. Conversations about debates and elections seem to dominate everywhere. Some sound angry. Others sound disturbed. And even some are filled with fear, if not with a sense of hopelessness.

While many of these concerns are legitimate, as the church, we ask that you turn our eyes and hearts toward you. You are our hope here and in eternity. Remind us that regardless of what happens around us, you remain the Lord who sits on the throne. May we rest our weary hearts in you, and may we fully trust you.

Give us a passion to pray for those around us who do not know you. Remind us that the ultimate hope for our country, and for all nations, is Christ. As we strive to be good citizens, as we engage the public square, as we cast our votes, give us wisdom and guide our steps. Use us to make the biggest difference by sharing the gospel with people in word and deed. 

Help us to be salt and light in a world of corruption, darkness and lostness. Help us to rejoice in you. May our joy and hope be attractive to others. May our good works point to the Father.

We look forward to the day when there will be one King over the whole earth, and He will be the LORD, our Lord (Zechariah 14:9). Until that day, may the gospel spread like a wildfire while you gather your people from every nation, tribe and language.

While we celebrate the Fourth of July, we remember the people in the Caribbean, Yucatan Peninsula and Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Beryl follows its path. We pray for protection and for the hurricane to dissipate.

In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Dr. Guarneri is the 21st executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. He holds degrees from Texas A&M University Kingsville, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Dallas Baptist University. He has more than 39 years of ministerial experience and is passionate about sharing the Gospel with the nations and cross-cultural missions and ministry.