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One way we can honor those who sacrificed their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to give us the freedoms we enjoy in the United States of America is by invoking God’s help for ourselves and those who endeavor to lead our nation today. We prayed this prayer in church yesterday. It was written by Brett Johnson, our minister of music.
The Lord’s Prayer for Our Nation – © July 2011
People: Our Father, who art in heaven,
Leader: How high are your ways above our ways. We pray today that the earthly ways of our nation would be informed by your heavenly ways.
People: Hallowed be Thy name.
Leader: May you be honored in the decisions made by our national leaders and by the manner in which those decisions are made. Instead of a posture of arrogance that can come with the drug of absolute power, may our country’s leadership reflect a posture of humility before you, aware of the awesome responsibility you have entrusted to them.
People: Thy Kingdom come.
Leader: May the designs and plans of our earthly republic mirror those of your divine Kingdom. May our cultural values become the values of your Kingdom, our collective desires, the desires of your heart.
People: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Leader: May our leaders, even unknowingly, accomplish your will in the difficult decisions they make.
People: Give us this day our daily bread.
Leader: We are so grateful for how you have so generously blessed our nation with prosperity. But these are hard economic times for so many in our nation. We do pray that you would use hardship to draw people to you, and as an opportunity for your Body, the Church, to be your hands and feet of justice and compassion to its neighbors within this great land.
At the same time, we recognize that even in our hardest economic climate we are among the most prosperous and wealthiest people on earth. Even in our lean years, give us deep generosity for the true poor of our world and an accurate perspective of relative wealth.
People: Forgive us our debts.
Leader: Forgive us for how easily we turn away from those who are truly destitute across the earth, those whom you called us to care for. Forgive us for how easily we turn to materialism and greed to feed our spiritual hunger. Forgive us for the many systemic sins which plague our culture, from a self-obsessed financial system to a lust- and- violence-fueled entertainment industry.
People: Forgive us as we forgive our debtors.
Leader: Make us a compassionate nation which is working to accomplish good things in individual lives, cultures and national futures all around this globe. Make us a nation less feared for its military might than honored and respected for its humanitarian investment.
People: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Leader: Guard our leaders from the corruption that power can bring to the human heart. Make them men and women of integrity who are able to rise above the petty battles of vengeance and blind political loyalty that our system of government can make them prone to face.
Make them people of depth and purpose who desire your will for their own lives and for the country that you have called them to lead.
All Together: On behalf of our nation, we pray all these things to you, for Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory forever. Amen.