In recent weeks I have heard a number participants in the life of our congregation lament the fact that while they felt it was their duty as followers of Jesus to pray for the President of the United States of America, they just didn’t know how to do it. I shared this frustration with the members of the Wednesday Morning Prayer and Bible Study and they urged me to set a time for the congregation to join in pray for President Trump and to provide a model prayer.
To that end I am inviting us all to pause at noon on Mondays November 26, December 3, December 10, December 17, December 24 and December 31 and pray for the president. Dale Edmondson has provided a prayer to guide us. It is a beautiful prayer. The principles Dale had in mind as he drafted it are noteworthy:
- It must recognize the context in which we live.
- It must recognize our own involvement and address our own need.
- It must not exploit the prayer as a channel for pronouncing judgement.
- It must recognize our potential for incremental, even limited, influence.
- It must rest in a belief in the grace of God.
A Weekly Prayer
O God, who has made us all and who loves the whole human family, we acknowledge there is division and animosity among us as a people, that words are uttered and actions carried out that disparage and censure one another, that within our nation we retreat into embattled camps. We come to you remembering our scriptures say you have “broken down the wall of hostility” among us. We pray that that peace and reconciliation will be realized among us and within us.
We acknowledge we are interconnected with one another, that none of us stands or acts or dies in isolation, and that the existence and actions of one affect all. And so, we pray for ourselves: that we may hear and seek to understand those with whom we differ. That we may learn from them, and build bridges between us of care and compassion. We confess it is only as we become open to others and grounded within ourselves that those with whom we relate will grow in openness and seek grounding themselves. Grant us this blessing.
Our teacher, Jesus, has taught us to love our enemies and to pray for those who would bring hurt to us. We find this hard to do, but we know it is the way to health. Let our influence and life, like our prayers, ripple out like waves, eroding intolerance and hatred in our world, allowing the forces of health and wholeness to burgeon. Let this power for good and growth spread to all who govern us, our legislators, our judges, and our President and those who give him counsel. Indeed, by your grace (your “Amazing Grace”) may they—and our President—become agents of healing and hope and encouragement.
We offer this prayer confident that you intend for us “such good things as pass our understanding.” – Amen.
Please feel free to share this prayer and invite others to join us in offering it each of the remaining Mondays of 2018.