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Pray for the Capitol

As I write, the US Capitol is on lockdown, Vice President Pence has been rushed from the Senate floor to safety, Capitol buildings have been evacuated, and protesters have breached police barricades at the Capitol. These violent threats to the peaceful transition of power threaten the peace and security of our nation, as well as the 244-year tradition of democracy in the United States.


As Christians, we take a baptismal vow to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 305). The traditions of democracy in America are intended to respect every person’s dignity, and the tradition of justice and the continuation of that respect for all depends on the peaceful transfer of power. Violent threats to the peace of this nation and our governing officials violate the cause of peace and justice that we believe in as Americans and as Christians.


I call on all Episcopalians in our diocese to enter into a deep practice of prayer for our country and for the peaceful transfer of power over the next two weeks. Let this season of Epiphany be a time for us to consider our own calls to peace and justice, and to pray for the Holy Spirit to bring resolution to our conflicts and healing to our divided nation. As we pray for God’s light to shine into this crisis of division, I offer these prayers from our Book of Common Prayer for your personal use as we pray and strive for justice and peace.


3. For the Human Family (p. 815)
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


18. For our Country (p. 820)
Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


19. For the President of the United States and all in Civil Authority (p. 820)
O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: We commend this nation to thy merciful care, that, being guided by thy Providence, we may dwell secure in thy peace. Grant to the President, Vice President, President-Elect, and Vice President-Elect of the United States, the Congress of the United States and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do thy will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in thy fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.


22. For Sound Government (p. 821)
O Lord our Governor, bless the leaders of our land, that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth.
Lord, keep this nation under your care.


To the President and members of the Cabinet, to Governors of States, Mayors of Cities, and to all in administrative authority, grant wisdom and grace in the exercise of their duties.
Give grace to your servants, O Lord.


To Senators and Representatives, and those who make our laws in States, Cities, and Towns, give courage, wisdom, and foresight to provide for the needs of all our people, and to fulfill our obligations in the community of nations.
Give grace to your servants, O Lord.


To the Judges and officers of our Courts give understanding and integrity, that human rights may be safeguarded and justice served.
Give grace to your servants, O Lord.


And finally, teach our people to rely on your strength and to accept their responsibilities to their fellow citizens, that they may elect trustworthy leaders and make wise decisions for the well-being of our society; that we may serve you faithfully in our generation and honor your holy Name.
For yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Amen.


27. For Social Justice (p.823)
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, and especially the hearts of the people of this land, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


28. In Times of Conflict (p. 824)
O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


6. For our Enemies (p. 816)
O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth: deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


In Christ,
Bishop Susan Brown Snook

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Category: #Advocacy, #Bishop's Blog, #Communications, #Repentance & Reconciliation, #Worship & Formation

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