It wasn't until I was a cadet at West Point and had to memorize more than the first stanza of the Star Spangled Banner that I found additional stanzas to it I was not aware of because they are rarely sung. After becoming a Christian the fourth and closing stanza of it came back to me strongly. Then, in homeschool yesterday, Mary Ann shared with the girls from a book of the history of hymns the story of My Country, 'Tis of Thee. I was blessed, listening to her, by the fourth and closing stanza of that as well.
With all the caving in of people about the origins of our nation and the heritage we have in God . . . and with the elections dominating the news right now and people deciding if the economy or values are their top issue and whether or not it is important to have a true Christian President, I thought I'd share the fourth stanza of each song with you in case its been awhile since you might have heard them. (The words and dates are copied from online sources. Please feel free to let me know if there are any mistakes in them.)
May this nation return to the reason it is great—our faith and trust in, and obedience to, the God of the Bible. May the winds of revival blow, not in an emotional frenzy that lasts but a short time, but in a turning of hearts back to Him. May those who claim His name and who claim they are His children start to make choices and vote and use their time and resources consistently with what they claim they believe. May those who don't know Him be awakened to their lost condition apart from Him and to His glorious love and grace for them. God bless you all, and thanks for sharing in my life. —Erick
Star Spangled Banner, fourth stanza, 1814
O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation.
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust;"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
My Country, 'Tis of Thee, fourth stanza, 1831
Our fathers' God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.
Need I Say More?