Heavenly Father, we pause to worship You and give thanks for the mighty works of Your hands. We praise You for blessing our state and this country with a spiritual heritage that anchored a new nation made up of a people determined to seek and obey Your truth. Receive our thanks, Lord, as we remember those who came before us, from the first American Indian exploring an uncharted wilderness to the pilgrims who came to this land seeking freedom to worship the God of Heaven and Earth, and the founding fathers who built a new life upon Your loving commandments and the Holy Scriptures. Thank You, Lord, for the gathering of families who came to live on the good land that we call North Carolina. You have graced us with the magnificence of Your handiwork, seen in the strength of the mighty ocean that brushes the Outer Banks and sandy shores, the loveliness of the Appalachian Mountains that pierce the clouds of Heaven, and the peaceful scenery of the rolling plains of the Piedmont. These are just glimpses of what You long to give mankind — Your strength, Your love, and Your peace.
Whether North Carolinians hail from generations who grew up on the land or people who choose this state to call home, I am grateful to be among them. Help us not forget the blessings that come because You are the gracious God, the abundant Provider, the great Forgiver, and the selfless Savior who invites people everywhere to repent and realize that hope for peace in our hearts and among others is brought about through Your mighty love. Forgive us when we forget to acknowledge You, when we take for granted Your limitless resources, when we fail to obey Your loving commands, and when we are ungrateful for Your saving grace. Help us to treasure the fact that even though we fail You, Your promises never fail.
I pray for our government leaders that they would stand true to our founding principles guided by Your wisdom. I pray for our churches to be beacons of light to those in darkness. I pray for protection for those serving in our military as they carry the banner of our people who love freedom and long for peace. I pray for our families to be strong and courageous, thwarting attacks upon the home. And most of all, Lord, I pray with my fellow North Carolinians that we would acknowledge we are nothing without You. The world faces dangers and anxieties of an uncertain future only when its people look to any other but You. Help us to realize our inability to solve the conflicts of humanity and to turn to the One who does all things well. May we be like the people who said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey” (Joshua 24:24 NKJV).
Let us hold up Your truth so that You will lead us. Help us to be quiet in contemplation and bold to do Your will. For as You lead us in the way, we, in turn, can point others to Your truth that brings abundant life. You, Lord, are the Giver of all things good, and this is the reason for our hope of eternal life — salvation from our sin against You — the most high God in the Heavens. Though we do not deserve Your favor, You graciously grant it to all who sincerely call upon the name in which I pray, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.