Irving Berlin became a U.S. citizen in 1918, shortly thereafter he joined the army, and later in that same year wrote the lyrics to the song “God Bless America.” However, the lyrics and the song were not published until 1938 when the threat of another World War seemed inevitable. Berlin’s song was not intended to be a “get-America-ready-for-war song.” Mr Berlin, in a 1940 interview said, “It’s not a patriotic song, but an expression of gratitude for what this country has done for its citizens, of what home really means.” Kate Smith, who recorded the song in 1939, often introduced it by reading the following poem, written by Irving Berlin. “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.”Mr. Berlin was referring to the storm clouds of the advancing German Army, led by Adolph Hitler.
Storm clouds of violence, political unrest, and a pandemic have been gathering all around us in 2020. As we pray for God to bring peace and prosperity to our country, as we pray and fast for the upcoming election, take time to thank Him for the many blessings He has bestowed on America for hundreds of years, and for the bountiful individual blessings He has bestowed on each of us. The Bible reminds us in numerous passages that giving of thanks should be a part of our prayers.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6).
“O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods” (Psalms 95:1-3).
“God bless America
Land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above
From the mountains, to the prairies
To the oceans white with foam
God bless America
My home, sweet home
God bless America
My home, sweet home.”