Friday, September 6, 2013

Prayer for this time of looming war

I wrote this prayer for Westview's Sunday-evening prayer service on the eve of Congress' return to session to debate and vote the resolution of war against Syria.

Any other church that wishes to use it, feel free. I do not ask for author credit, but I do ask that if you modify it please do not indicate authorship.

Prayer for our country

Leader: Almighty God, you rule all the peoples of the earth.
All: Inspire the minds of all women and men to whom you have committed    the responsibility of government and leadership in the nations of the world. Give to them the vision of truth and justice, that by their counsel all nations and peoples may work together. Give to the people of our country zeal for justice and strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will. Forgive our shortcomings as a nation; purify our hearts to see and love the truth.

We pray especially for these persons in positions of authority:

President Barack Obama, for wisdom, resoluteness, clarity of purpose, and insightfulness of vision.
Hear our prayer, O Lord, for our president.
Secretary of State John Kerry, that our relations with other nations may be honorable and just.
Hear our prayer, O Lord, for the secretary of state.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, that should war come it may be fought justly and the lives of the innocent be protected.
Hear our prayer, O Lord, for the secretary of defense.
General Martin Dempsey and all leaders of our military, that our service men and women may be sent into battle prepared and soundly led.
Hear our prayer, O Lord, for the leaders of our armed forces.
Speaker of the House John Boehner, that the House of Representatives be led wisely and that debate be unhindered by partisan purposes.
Hear our prayer, O Lord, for Speaker Boehner.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, that deliberations of senators be bold,  for the common good of all in justice.
Hear our prayer, O Lord, for Senator Reid.
All members of the Congress, for sober decision of great responsibility, especially the representative of this district, [name of your district's House member] and Senators [names of your state's senators].
Hear our prayer, O Lord, for Representative [name] and Senators [names].
We plead with you, O Lord, to rest your Spirit upon the nation of Syria, that the innocent suffer not, that right be established in justice and peace. Be very present with all affected there by the sword of war and with the refugees dispossessed by violence. We raise up to you especially our brothers and sisters in Christ in that war-torn land.
Hear our prayer, O Lord, for the people of Syria. Be the fortress for your children there.
Holy Lord, you commanded us to pray for our enemies. So we raise to you Bashar al-Assad, who does not know your liberating grace and love. We pray God that he and others leaders of his regime will come to acknowledge you alone as saving Lord, placing their whole trust and confidence in your redemption through Christ Jesus, and set aside implements of destruction, that your justice may be better established upon the earth.
Hear our prayer, O Lord, for Bashar al-Assad.
Hear our prayer, O Lord, and let our cry come unto thee.
In humility we bow before you, O Lord, for you alone are our Savior and Redeemer, our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.