A Bidding Prayer for Belize

Today as we began the Independence Day parade in San Ignacio, I was asked to give an opening prayer. What follows is about what I used for an invocation:

Good afternoon to all of you. It is my deepest pleasure, on behalf of myself and of the Anglican churches in Cayo, to wish you a very Happy Independence Day as we celebrate this great nation of Belize together.

On this day of joy and happiness, I call for your sincere prayers in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I bid your prayers for our nation: for our elected officials and civil servants, for our police and military, for our farms, industries, businesses and markets. I bid your prayers for our families and homes: for parents and grandparents, for children and grandchildren, for brothers and sisters and those who are adopted. I bid your prayers for our schools: for teachers and students, for preschools and primary schools, for colleges, technical schools, and universities. I bid your prayers for our churches: for congregations and missions, for the poor, the victimized, and the homeless, for nonprofit organizations and charities, and for a love among us that reflects the love of him who first loved us.

I bid your prayers for the continuance of peace and prosperity in our beautiful land of Belize, for the abounding of true liberty and just order among all Belizean people, and for the flourishing of true knowledge, righteousness, and holiness over the face of the earth.

And finally I bid your humble and heartfelt praise and thanksgiving to the only true, living and almighty God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, for all those blessings that he has already granted us and that he continues to pour out upon each of us every day and upon this fair nation whose independence we are celebrating.

I therefore invite you to join with me in bowing our heads and our hearts before his heavenly throne of grace as we seek his face of mercy and his hand of grace.

Let us pray.

ALMIGHTY and eternal God, you are the Father of all life, the Defender of all freedom and liberty, and the Source of all goodness and blessing. In your hand rest all nations upon earth, in your counsel reside all wisdom and virtue, and in the fullness of time you will establish your everlasting kingdom upon this earth and make all things new. Grant to us now, therefore, to our nation, to our town, to our villages, and to our families, the blessing of your gracious care and providence. As we celebrate Belize this Independence Day, give us a heart to love and fear you, to delight in your law and to walk in your ways. Increase in our nation true knowledge, true righteousness, and true holiness. Guide our leaders by your Holy Spirit in the paths of transparent justice and faithful wisdom, following after the courageous example set by your incarnate, crucified, and glorified Son Jesus Christ. And grant us grace now, merciful Father, to pursue justice, peace, humility and love, that in the present age we may through faith be conformed to your image in the sure and steadfast hope that, in the age to come, we might behold your unreflected glory in the face of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who is even now King of kings and Lord of lords, and who ever lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Blessings to you this day and always!