Daily Prayers for July 4

Martin of Tours (d. 397)

Martin of Tours saw Christ in the face of the poor and in the commitment to nonviolence. He was born in what is now Hungary and as a young man was involuntarily enlisted in the Roman Army. Martin’s conversion to Christianity occurred after he met a beggar seeking alms. Without money to offer the man, Martin tore his own coat in half and gave one part to the beggar. The following night, Martin dreamed of Christ wearing half of his coat. Once Martin was baptized he resolved to leave the army because Christ called him to nonviolence. His superiors mistakenly saw his request as one of cowardice until Martin offered to face the front lines without weapons as a sign of Christian pacifism. Denied this offer, Martin spent time in prison. Afterward he joined the monastery at Solesmes and eventually served for ten years as bishop of Tours.

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you

as the day rises to meet the sun.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Come, let us sing to the Lord : let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Song “Be Thou My Vision”

I’m a soldier in the army of the Lord : I’m a soldier in the Lord’s army.

Psalm 22:22 25

Praise the Lord, you that fear him : stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel; all you of Jacob’s line, give glory.

For he does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty; neither does he hide his face from them : but when they cry to him he hears them.

My praise is of him in the great assembly : I will perform my vows in the presence of those who worship him.

The poor shall eat and be satisfied, and those who seek the Lord shall praise him : “May your heart live for ever!”

I’m a soldier in the army of the Lord : I’m a soldier in the Lord’s army.

Judges 5:1 – 18 Acts 15:1 – 21

I’m a soldier in the army of the Lord : I’m a soldier in the Lord’s army.

Martin of Tours said, “I am a soldier of Christ; it is not lawful for me to fight.”

Prayers for Others

Our Father

Almighty God, you are King of all creation. You created order out of chaos, and you call us to strive for the peace that is not like the peace empires bring. Teach us to drop the weapons we carry in our hands, in our hearts, and on our tongues. Enable us to be soldiers of yours who destroy the weapons of our oppressors with your grace. Amen.

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you : wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing : once again into our doors.

Wanting to celebrate the reign of God rather than Independence Day, the Church of the Sojourners in San Francisco, California, has declared July 4 the Celebration of Yahweh’s Kingship. Debbie Gish explains, “By choosing this day to celebrate Yahweh’s kingship, we are symbolically and concretely declaring our ultimate allegiance. It may appear to be a statement against the United States, but in fact it is a statement for the kingdom of God.”

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