While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free.
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer:
God bless America, land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home sweet home.
Did you know that these words, made popular in our culture by Kate Smith’s distinctive voice, are actually a prayer? On the evening of Sept 11, 2001 after two towers had fallen, a plane had crashed, and with the death toll of American casualties still rising…Congress met and stood on the steps for an impromptu meeting. Republican stood shoulder to shoulder with Democrat… fierce enemies politically had now, for the moment, forgotten their animosity. Something bigger was at stake…our future as a nation. They broke into a spontaneous prayer that night as every eye in America was on them and someone began singing, “God Bless America… a song written in 1938 as war began to rage in Europe. And it was written first as a prayer, and only later was set to music.
Can we pray that today? Can we ask God to bless the things that are happening around us in our nation? Can we hope these continue into the lives of our children and grandchildren? Do we really want God to bless America as things are now? Are we now the nation we truly want our children and grandchildren to inherit?
We are no longer the “United” States of America. To say we are united is almost a mockery. We are more divided than we have been since the country broke into Civil War. Politically, ethically, morally, our views of how we see gender and sexuality, race, and the economy. Unity does not define our nation. While we tried to bring diversity to the forefront of our national consciousness, what we inadvertently brought was disunity.
But by the good grace of God, it may not be too late for Him to hear, one more time, the Christian family…the Body of Christ…praying again; pleading again; turning in repentance. No culture has risen to the heights we have known in America; no country has been lavished with more opportunities… no nation has been quicker to aid and assist those who are hurting.
Certainly, there is still greatness. But the days are turbulent, and the circumstances are growing darker, and the time is getting shorter. It’s time to pray. It’s time to ask God to forgive us. It’s time to recognize that politics, or a growing economy, or a unified Washington will not bring the change needed. Only God can do that.
And by His grace, we pray He will bless America!