Prayers for National Life



From the Book of Common Prayer (1979), p. 822:

For an Election
Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States in the election of officials and representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

On page 820, in the prayer for the President et al, the BCP admonishes us to pray thus …

Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in thy fear.
During the next few weeks, as candidates for public office, from the simplest local position to the President of the
United States, make enormous promises and roundly condemn their opponents, the rest of us will be hard pressed to peer through the fog and friction of the warfare of words to find truth and clarity for the welfare of this nation and our place on the world stage.

During these weeks of rancorous rhetoric, we would all do well to make this prayer part of our daily time with God:

For our Country
Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We will never live in a country where everyone agrees with everyone else. However, we can choose to be a country where we honor the genuine and heart-felt opinions of others, where we engage each other in meaningful conversation, where we work with others to attain the greatest good for the greatest number, and where we strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.

(Reprinted from Unchained Eagle, the blog of Father Robert Certain, of St. Peter and St. Paul Episcopal Church on Johnson Ferry Road.)

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