Tomorrow will be a big day for our country, with the inauguration of a new president, Donald Trump. Regardless of where you stand politically, people of faith should be praying hard for our country and for the new president and his administration. Although many, including myself, had hoped and prayed that the election mudslinging would come to an end, in many ways it seems to be intensifying. The prayer below (with slight adaptation by me), was written by John Carroll, the first Catholic Bishop of the United States, for the inauguration of George Washington in 1789. I hope everyone will join me in praying it together. As my former pastor of happy memory used to say often, "prayer changes things." Let it be so.
- Almighty and eternal God,
you have revealed your glory to all nations.
God of power and might, wisdom and justice,
through you authority is rightly administered,
laws are enacted, and judgment is decreed.
- For the President:
Assist with your spirit of counsel and fortitude
the President of these United States,
that his administration may be conducted in righteousness,
and be eminently useful to your people over whom he presides.
May he encourage due respect for virtue and religion.
May he execute the laws with justice and mercy.
May he seek to restrain crime, vice, and immorality.
- For the members of Congress:
Let the light of your divine wisdom
direct the deliberations of Congress,
and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed
for our rule and government.
May they seek to preserve peace, promote national happiness,
and continue to bring us the blessings of liberty and equality.
- For state and local officials:
We pray for governors,
for the members of legislatures,
for judges, elected civil officials,
and all others who are entrusted to guard our political welfare.
May they be enabled, by your powerful protection,
to discharge their duties with honesty and ability.
- We likewise commend to your unbounded mercy
all citizens of the United States,
that we be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of your holy law.
May we be preserved in union and that peace which the world cannot give;
and, after enjoying the blessings of this life,
be admitted to those which are eternal.
We pray to you, who are Lord and God,
for ever and ever.