God, you have blessed us immensely as a nation: we have riches beyond the imagination of most of the world's population, we have educational, employment, and cultural opportunities that many do not enjoy, we have access to the latest scientific and medical breakthroughs, and we live in peace within our borders. Thank you. Yet despite your blessings, we often fall short of your expectations: we horde our wealth rather than sharing it with those who lack the basics of life, we exclude many who would like to have the same opportunities we do, but were born on the "wrong" side of the border, we think it is our inalienable right to profit from our country's knowledge, and we export unrest and strife around the world, through war, surreptitious plots against existing governments, and arms sales. Forgive us. In this time of international upheaval: remind us that our allegiance to the Prince of Peace trumps our allegiance to the nation, help us to live by the song "Dona Nobis Pacem" rather than "Onward Christian Soldiers", encourage us to remain faithful to our understanding of the teachings of Christ in the face of opposition from many of our fellow-citizens, and give us the grace and wisdom to live creative lives when we encounter rigid theology. Strengthen us. There are so many in our world who need your touch: the poor, the sick, the homeless, refugees, the mentally ill, those addicted to drugs of all kinds, those who live under repressive regimes, those who are imprisoned without recourse to legal help, those who are in danger every time they speak for justice, and those who are persecuted because of their faith, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Help them. We need wise, compassionate, courageous, and spiritual leaders and spokespersons, so we pray for: the president, vice-president, and other leaders in the administration, members of Congress, state and local leaders of government, religious leaders, on the local level and beyond, including leaders of ecumenical bodies, leaders of relief organizations and other NGOs, the Secretary General of the U.N., leaders of various U.N. organizations, leaders of other international groups, executives of corporations, leaders of labor unions, and leaders of political parties, and members of the press. Guide them. Finally, God, remind us that we are rational beings, and you expect us to use our minds to solve the problems of the world. Don't let us forget, though, that knowledge without wisdom can be a dangerous thing, just like power without restraint, or justice without mercy, or freedom without responsibility. So we pray for our nation, and our world: bless us, especially the weakest among us, give us peace, meet our needs, grant us wisdom. Amen.
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