We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.

A PERSONAL PRAYER

Loving God,
I sometimes get frustrated with our country. I become frustrated with our political system, with our candidates and representatives, our leaders and our government. I look around and wonder what is going on, why some things are happening and other things are not happening. Too often, those feelings lead me to bow out, not sure whom to cheer for, not sure how to make an impact. Sometimes, I end up simply focusing my efforts on a few things around me where I can make a difference, where I can do just a little more good than harm. And yet, when I regain appropriate perspective, I remember that I am amazingly blessed to live in this wonderful country, even with all our faults and failures, a land where I can rant and rave about my leaders without any fear of reprisal, where in fact it has become fashionable to do so. O God, forgive me for the times I have taken my nation for granted. Forgive me when I have forgotten to pray for all of my leaders, all of those in authority, even when I don’t agree with them. Forgive me when I have been willing to gripe, but not willing to work for any solutions.

And God, most of all, I say thank you. Thank you so much for my liberty. Thank you for those who have given of themselves in public service, giving themselves away through their time, effort, and even their very lives, so that we might continue to be not just strong and prosperous, but good and just. Thank you for the spirit of patriotism that I feel in my heart, that love of country that is good and wholesome and true, rather than arrogant or haughty. Keep alive in me that patriot’s dream that sees beyond the years, where alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears. And remind me that my nation is not a god, but that only you are to be really sovereign in my life.

In the name of my king, to whom I owe my ultimate allegiance, I pray,
Amen.

KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
‘The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants, forever.’ 1 Samuel 20:42b Read whole passage for Sunday here:1 Samuel 20:41-42

QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
To whom do you feel your destiny is tied together forever? When you have felt covenants in conflict with one another, or been unable to keep your promises?

SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This Sunday, July 3, I will be talking about covenants as we consider the covenant of friendship between David and Jonathan, and between the house of David and the house of Jonathan forever. Do you ever feel like you would rather not be bound together with others? Bound together with your family? Bound together with you church? Bound together with your country? Do you strain against the covenants of which you are a part? We will talk this week about what it means to be connected to one another. I hope you will come!

If you can’t be with us, just go herehttp://www.stlukesmethodist.org/livestream and worship with us via livestream for any of our traditional services. I hope you have a wonderful and safe Independence Day. Remember in the midst of your celebration to stop and give God the glory and thanksgiving. Amen.

PRAYER CALENDAR

Sunday, July 3
Lord, help me to see and be grateful for the many ways you touch my life every day. Your love is all around me…in flowers that bloom, in the love of our families, and in the caring smiles of our friends. God, grant me your grace and help me be to others a messenger of your love. Amen.

Monday, July 4 | Independence Day
God, we thank you for the freedoms that we have in our country. Today, we celebrate our great country which is made great by you. Guide our country in ways that are pleasing to you, and help us to use our blessings and opportunities to further your Kingdom. Amen.

Tuesday, July 5
Heavenly Father, be with us as we celebrate our new buildings and guide our ministries so that we use those spaces to your glory. Amen.

Wednesday, July 6
Father God, as the sun shines and the temperature rises, increase our fervor for you, O lover of our souls. And then, let this marvelous light shine bright. Amen.

Thursday, July 7
Dear Lord, my heart is filled with joy. Your love surrounds me in such a powerful way, and my words cannot adequately express my gratitude. I lift up my heart and ask your continual guidance as I strive to follow you. In love and thanks, Amen.

Friday, July 8
God, bless us and know that we love you. Amen.

Saturday, July 9
I pray for the people in the Southwest Houston community. These families seek so many things, but mostly hope and peace. Amen.
-Prayer by Amy Kelley, Director of Children and Youth, St. Luke’s Gethsemane