Day 307 | Wednesday, 20 January 2021
On this day of New Beginnings for America, let us pray that God favor with good health and sound judgement our president, Joseph Biden; our vice president, Kamala Harris; and the members of Congress. Let us pray that petty party politics, mutual recrimination and self-justification yield to courtesy, forbearance and a paramount concern for the people of this nation. Let us pray that the divisions that have become so prominent begin to heal and close for the good of all. Let us also pray for patience as our new leadership begins to help our nation overcome the Corona Virus which has left over 400,000 dead. It is going to take time for this train to get back on the track.
God of Liberty, we rejoice in the blessed abundance you have bestowed on our cherished land. We praise you for the freedom of religious expression which allows us to gather in your name. We praise you for the freedom to say what we think without fear of the governing authorities. We praise you for the freedom to come and go as we please. We praise you for the benefits of education made available to all. We praise you for the freedom to dream our dreams and to strive to make them come true. We praise you for the gift of living in a land where peace is predominant. We rejoice in the bounty of this fruitful land, which provides us with plentiful food and beautiful places to rest and play.
In freedom we are strong, yet freedom is a fragile thing. Help us protect our freedoms through the exercise of personal and civic responsibility. Sting our conscience every time we say to ourselves, “Let someone else do it; It's their problem; I don't care”. Give us as citizens the brains to realize that poverty and violence anywhere weakens the nation everywhere, just as illness in one part of the body weakens the whole.
Help us choose leaders who will do what is necessary for the well-being of the nation, who will not simply promise to grant our selfish wishes in exchange for re-election. Help the citizens of this land to achieve consensus on our most pressing issues, so that united we can help our elected leaders lead with clarity, consistency and decisiveness.
As people who have been freed forever through the blood of Jesus Christ, help us defeat in ourselves the impulse to slavishly submit to the tyranny of self-interest and greed. Help us, whom you are preparing for eternity, to take the long-range view of what would be best for all, not merely what is expedient for those who presently enjoy political and economic advantage. Inspire us to be advocates for people whose voices cannot be heard in the public debate, that all your people may have a share in honor and prosperity and hope. In Jesus name Amen.”
“We thank you for these United States, for this nation of immigrants, for this noble experiment with unity within diversity. While it is our responsibility to recognize and to mend much that is wrong with our country, we give you hearty praise for so much that is right.
We thank you for our legacy of enterprise, fairness and hopefulness passed down among us through the generations from our very beginnings. We praise you for a system of government in which dissent is not merely tolerated but expected and encouraged, as we pray that it is peaceful. We thank you for a system of justice which, in spite of many flaws, manages to make room for mercy. And we glorify your name for the men and women in our midst who prod us, needle us, plague us to remember the gap between our rhetoric and our practice and to work at closing the gap.
So, we pray for our nation, fervently, in the name of him who loved his nation with all his heart but always put justice and compassion for people first. Amen.
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Rev. Douglas Knopp, Pastor Emeritus