September 11 seems like a fitting day to offer this prayer that has been on my heart for some time now. I am very cautious about addressing politics in this blog. When I do, I try to do so in a way that is free from partisan biases. Public prayers are also something I am cautious about for a number of reasons. I hope you can join this prayer without reservation, regardless of your specific political and economic beliefs. There is nothing in it that isn’t among the teachings of Jesus, much of which can be found in the Sermon on the Mount. More importantly, I hope we can each do our parts to serve its vision, and not simply wait for God to intervene like a parent imposing order on unruly children. Let us be like the children who honor their parents by following their wise counsel.
Most Holy and Loving God, hear our prayer:
In our efforts to work out the ways we live together at all levels of society – neighborhood, city, state, nation, and world – help us overcome the temptations to be untrusting, deceitful, intolerant, self-righteous, and hostile. Help free us from greed, gluttony, and the temptation to enjoy unjust gain, all of which Jesus called ‘Mammon.’ When we encounter such attitudes in others, help us remember that behind them are fears and hopes in connection with the natural desires for happiness and wellbeing that we all share. Help us remember that, if we would love You fully, we must love our neighbors, even those we might call our enemies. Help us be merciful, pure in heart, and peacemakers with all people. Strengthen our courage to turn the other cheek while also standing bravely with the oppressed. Magnify our compassion and our resolve to clothe the naked, to feed the hungry, to heal the sick, to serve those whom we might regard as the least among us, and to love them even as we would love Your Son who is the light within all born into this world. Most Gracious One, help us remember in gratitude that You are ever with us, feeding us with the miraculous loaves of Your love, and that we are thereby empowered to manifest Your love on earth as it is in Heaven, if we will only let the light within us, which is Your light, shine unhidden. Finally, Spirit of Wisdom, sharpen our discernment to uphold policies that will best serve these ethical principles and to elect leaders who will do likewise, assuming neither holiness among those who cry “Lord, Lord!” nor wickedness among those who do not.
In Your Ineffable Name we pray, amen.