A Prayer: God Bless America

God Bless America

In 1918, the hard days of World War I, a soldier named Irving Belin wrote the words and music to the song God Bless America. He also wrote White Christmas and many other favorites. However, it was 20 year later, at the dawn of World War II, when God Bless America finally made its debut. On her radio show, Kate Smith belted it out, in her brassy, Broadway voice. It became her signature song.

The song is a prayer, a beautiful prayer, a prayer our nation needs.

  • I think of our troops putting their lives on the line for all of us.
  • I think of the division, hostility, and incivility in our politics.
  • I think of our relationship with nations around the world.
  • I think of our nation’s need to rediscover our confidence in God.

Let’s ask for God’s blessing on our nation. I invite you to pray the words of the beautiful hymn.

Irving Berlin, the composer, contributed the money he made from this song to the Boys Scout and Girl Scouts. Also, something most people don’t know, he wrote an introduction to the song that is a beautiful call to prayer. You rarely hear the opening of his composition, but I invite you to read it as a call to prayer. (NOTE: the context of the hymn is just prior World War II.)

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free.
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer: 

God Bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
From the mountains to the prairies
To the ocean white with foam
God Bless America, my home, sweet, home
God Bless America, my home, sweet, home

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