Courage to Govern

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Ps. 139: 23-24

Lord, renew our capacity to govern.  With more than one state in gridlock, factionalism promoted in the media as a national sport, and a public that is at turns fearful, angry, discouraged and uncomprehending, we need your help once again.

Your word has guided us many times before.  The 17th century preacher Jonathan Mitchel in an election sermon delivered in Boston on May 15, 1667 titled ‘Nehemiah on the Wall in Troublesome Times”, looked to the prophet Nehemiah as an example for those who govern — a leader who with fearlessness and fidelity, self-denial and compassion, prudence and piety, worked to promote and maintain the welfare of all the people.  Promoting and maintaining the welfare of the people, even in those early days of our history, was recognized to include pursuing “civil honesty”; promoting community prosperity by ensuring that all had access to the necessaries of life; and working “to quiet complaints and contentions, and to heal the dissatisfactions that arose among them”.  Good leaders, as Mitchell pointed out, do more than simply talk of the common good, they “put forth utmost and best endeavors to procure, promote and maintain it; to study it, and to speak for it; to act for it”.

Help us Lord find such leaders, and to encourage those we have.  And help us, as democratic citizens, find the courage to accept difficult realities, to confront special interests that seek to manipulate and control, and to try new paths. Give us the strength and discipline as a people to be studious, concerned and thoughtful about our common needs;  to control our fears, and to pursue compassion, patience,  and wisdom.

And help us yet again find our way through another troublesome time, and to emerge as a kinder, wiser people.

In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen

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One Response to “Courage to Govern”

  1. From the Electoral Season, Save Us « Prayers For Our Country Says:

    […] us the courage to acknowledge our circumstances are complex, and that real solutions will take sacrifice, sharing, […]

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