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Washington's Inaugural Prayer


This final week before our election I've been convicted to remain steadfastly observant and prayerful before entering the voting booth on November 6. Yes, my personal voting preferences are decided and I will vote my Christian worldview as I have for the past forty-one years. My prayers this week are more for our nation. Since the 2016 Presidential Election the fabric of American political life has been shredded by the vastly different agendas of the two prevailing political parties, the very biased reporting of the main stream media, and the antics of our elected officials concerning the direction of the nation. So, my prayers in the week leading up to November 6 are for American voters to look beyond the hype to elect qualified individuals to govern us at the national, state, and local levels.

Most observers are labeling this as one of the most critical mid-term elections in our nation's history. Today traditional conservatives and liberals are joined on many ballots by socialists, communists, and several new strains of political thought. Among many decisions that will result from the American vote on November 6 control of the legislative branch of government is perhaps the most critical. This decision alone will touch our citizens in many ways. My prayer is that each of us will be informed about these down ballot issues and vote our values when casting our ballots.

Over the weekend I reviewed some of the prayers of our nation's presidents. Being impressed with their consecration and devotion in times when the nation looked to their leadership I've decided to print a few of them this week. You know there's been much debate about the faith of those who have led our nation, especially those whose guidance directed our earliest years. Historians have researched their prayer journals and private communications and have published their private thoughts and prayers as our legacy. So, today I'm reprinting an inaugural prayer of President George Washington. It moved me for it's simplicity, the exalted language of his day, and the humility of asking for the counsel of heaven as he guided the new nation.

Prayer for the United States of America

"Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large.

And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." This prayer was copied from http://usaheritage.org/wash_prayer1.html.

Whether or not President Washington could have envisioned America in the new millennium is certainly an interesting question. It was a smaller, gentler nation that overcame great hardship under his leadership as commander of our armies in the American Revolution and in our founding years. Nevertheless, it was a population of factions, differences of political, social, economic, and spiritual opinions, citizens coming to grips with nationhood. His prayer for God's guidance over the American people is quite moving. His prayer that we "entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens" is even more profound in our diversity today. That he asked God to "...dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion..." is especially poignant. It is a prayer that we could all ask every day.

Please take a few minutes to review this prayer offered by the Father of our Nation. And, join me in praying for this "...humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation".

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