Sunday, May 28, 2006

Prayers for Congress and the Country

The Book of Common Prayer provides suitable prayers for all occasions. This Memorial Day weekend the country faces more than a few issues that need prayer. Thanksgiving is in order for ongoing peace, prosperity and stability as a nation. As our leaders are quick to note, we are the beneficiaries of many blessings. But at the same time we struggle with how best to share those blessings with the rest of the world. Most people I know are not "into" shared blessings but I don't want to be counted among that number. I subscribe to the idea that the more you give, the more you are apt to get. Makes no sense in human terms, but seems to work better than selfishness.

For Congress

O God, the fountain of wisdom, whose will is good and gracious, and whose law is truth: We beseech thee so to guide and bless our Senators and Representatives in Congress assembled, that they may enact such laws as shall please thee, to the glory of thy Name and the welfare of this people; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Courts of Justice

Almighty God, who sittest in the throne judging right: We humbly beseech thee to bless the courts of justice and the magistrates in all this land; and give unto them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, that they may discern the truth, and impartially administer the law in the fear of thee alone; through him who shall come to be our Judge, thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

...and one of my favorites, a prayer for our Country. As it speaks of "pure manners" and the "multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues" I still get a little choking sensation thinking of the self-righteous, legalistic, sub-Christian attitudes that contaminate the debate about immigrants.

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.

1 comment:

programmer craig said...

I subscribe to the idea that the more you give, the more you are apt to get. Makes no sense in human terms, but seems to work better than selfishness.

Makes perfect sense. Since we're talking about prayers - it's written write in the Bible. More than once! Religion aside, most people have noticed that doing things for others (selflessly) makes people happy. It's easier said than done, though. It seems to be a very rare person who can put this basic principal into play with any regularity.

I don't really agree with you on the border issue. I live in southern california, and illegal immigration is killing the state. We have no moral or legal obligation to allow people to enter our country at will.