special days, special lessons

Declaration of Dependence

Today, we celebrate our nation’s independence. For several years, I taught the Declaration of Independence in my junior English class. It was one of my favorite pieces of American literature. It’s important to understand where we came from, and after studying numerous pieces written by the men and women who founded our country it is clear that their intent was for us to be a nation independent of other governing entities, yet dependent on the Lord. In fact, the final line of the Declaration reads: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

Two hundred and forty-one years ago we became an independent nation. Today we are full of independent people. But tonight as I hear the crackle of fireworks lighting up the sky, I am celebrating my dependence on the Lord.

 

My Declaration of Dependence

Lord, I depend on you for my every breath. You created me, and you’ve numbered my days. I pray that you will help me see my purpose and live it in every day that you give me.

 

Lord, I depend on you as the protector and provider for my family. In Philippians 4:6, we are reminded not to be “anxious about anything.” I pray that I remember to turn to you for all the needs of my family. Thank you for how you’ve provided for us abundantly no matter our situation.

 

Lord, I depend on you to love. I am not always patient and kind. So often I get jealous, prideful, demanding, and irritable. I fail at showing the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13. I am so grateful that your love endures through every circumstance; it endures through my failures. I pray that you help me to love like you do.

 

Lord, I depend on you for strength. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Paul says, “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Lord, I need your strength when I’ve spent the day being ignored, disobeyed, and cried to. I need your strength when my list is longer than the day. I need your strength when those who I love hurt in a way that I can’t comfort. I pray that your power works through my weaknesses and that, through your Spirit, I am able to take pleasure and boast in them instead of avoid them.

 

Lord, I depend on you to do what I can’t. The temptation to dwell on my insufficiencies is strong. My focus is on all that I can’t do instead of all that you can. I pray that you help me keep my focus on you. “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).

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