Today is my country’s National Day of Prayer, and this is my prayer (when I say “we,” I’m referring to myself as well as many Americans):
Dear Heavenly Father, Creator of All Things,
Thank you for our country. As I strive to worship you, God, and serve the poor, I regularly am blessed by the fruit of our country’s founding vision of freedom, responsibility and humility. My children attend a very resourceful and culturally-diverse school and church, and there are many other ways my wife and I feel uniquely blessed by our community.
However, we have erred from what is right by Your commandments and what would continue to be deemed good stewardship and cultural flourishing in the land You have given us.
We have sought self-fulfillment in the wrong places, storing up treasures on earth. Have mercy.
We have treasured our sub-culture and/or country more than your love and grace. Have mercy.
We have had the over-confidence to disregard the notion of intelligence other than our own, pridefully refusing to be teachable. Have mercy.
Under a guise of justice, we have sought vengeance and victory instead of reconciliation and the common good. Have mercy.
Wanting to create a culture that we thought was better, we have ignored facts and believed heinous lies about people. Have mercy.
We have selfishly sought our own trivial good and ignored the significant plight of others. Have mercy.
We have continually mocked leaders and those in authority that you have ordained, and not prayed for them as you commanded. Have mercy.
Unlike many of your children outside of our country, many of us continue to lack an adequate theology of suffering. Have mercy.
We ask, Lord, that you would give wisdom and strength to both President Obama and the next person who will be given the difficult task of leading and shepherding a diverse and polarized country.
May we have the strength to continue to serve you, help others and work for the common good.
May we, following your commands, in our relationships with one another, seek absolute grace and not relative justice.
May we, following your commands, be elitist about ideas but egalitarian about fellow children of God.
May we never forget, Lord, that you are not surprised or intimidated by actions of men. You are our perfect example of humble servanthood. Give us the strength and courage to serve our country.