Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A prayer for Election Day 2008 ...

Father ...

... first, please forgive me where I have not lived up to Your standards.

Thank You so much for putting me in a nation that still does "hold these truths to be self-evident", acknowledging that our most fundamental rights are Your endowment to us, and that while governments can restrict, and even deny, our access to and use of them, not even democracy can override Your executive decision and remove them from us.

Thank You for putting me in a nation that gives birth to Men and Women who volunteer to go into harm's way on our behalf, in such numbers that conscription would actually impede their ability to combine violent resolve and Your compassion to secure those rights, not only for us, but for ALL MEN -- since, as our founding citizens acknowledged, those unalienable rights are not the exclusive property of Americans.

May we, with Your guidance, realize that, in the highly-interconnected world, the defense of the unalienable rights of "the other" is not only right ... not only noble ... but wise; a prudent response that also serves to further secure our own freedom. As we have seen time and again, without freedom and the respect for it, peace is just an illusion ... but where freedom is respected, people don't have the incentive to foment violence upon each other, and therefore a sustainable peace is attained in these places and nations. Please act to let that spread, Lord.

May we, with Your guidance, realize that, analogous to what You have inspired others to write with regards to our spiritual life, becoming a "citizen of the world" even in the temporal sense ... in a world where many of its leaders still do NOT "hold these truths to be self-evident" ... is neither prudent, nor wise if it means subordinating "these truths" to the collective will.

Thank You for putting me in a nation where knowledge not only can be found in great abundance, but where men and women have the freedom to both acquire that knowledge for their own edification ... then leverage that knowledge through innovation, rendering their thoughts into various expressions of ordered dynamism that they and others can use to not only make a profit, but make their lives easier and/or more productive ... and sometimes, save them from harm and even death. We are a nation of problem-solvers -- 300 million problem solvers.

May we act in ways that empower them, and not impede them in this process.

And may we also be inspired by You, to realize that knowledge, academic/professional credentials, erudition, even intelligence itself -- none of these are the same as WISDOM, nor do they have the same value, nor are they prerequisites to this attribute of humanity -- an attribute You inspired the writer of Proverbs to write so much about.

May we realize that those who possess wisdom often do not appear erudite or educated as our culture has defined it, and are therefore ignored when not mocked or ridiculed ... but they still express truths so profound, we ignore them at our own peril, and to our detriment.

Father, We the People need wisdom ... Your wisdom ... more than ever today.

Today, we complete the process of choosing those who will lead us for the next two to four to six years, by exercising our right to vote for our leadership.

We face the choice of leadership teams that embrace two highly-divergent worldviews ... neither of which is in full accordance with Your worldview.

Our ability to discern the best choice has been obscured, not only by political and popular-culture hyperbole, but by the "faulty intelligence" published by those who supposedly are objective observers/reporters, but see themselves as "world changers" with the right to color their reporting under the cloak of perceived objectivity, to further the adoption of their worldview. Give us the vision to see through the fog.

Guide our hands, that we may choose wisely who will lead us.

Guide those charged with conducting the election process ... so that there will be no doubt that the choices made are truly the choices of We the People. Help us to avoid the turmoil and doubt of Election 2000, that has poisoned political discourse over the past eight years.

After today passes, if those we have chosen carry the day, remind us to not be arrogant ... and empower us to consistently hold them to account for the good and the bad they render during their time in office.

And if those we have chosen do not carry the day, remind us that "the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord", and that You are in control ... and empower us to consistently hold them to account for the good and the bad they render during their time in office, with a level of respect commensurate with their office and their conduct, in a way that will reflect well upon Your leadership of our individual lives.

All this I ask, in the name of Your Son ... as we head toward the voting booths, which are today the "front line" of multiple conflicts, from the War on Terror to spiritual warfare ... for our decisions today will profoundly and perhaps irreversibly affect the battle on every other front line, from Iraq and Afghanistan, to Washintgton DC, to our local congregations of believers.

It is time to heed the words you said to Joshua so long ago, and "be strong and courageous" ... and wise. It is time to act ... so I conclude this prayer not with an "Amen", but with the words of a fellow believer, who found himself with 39 others on the front line seven years ago ... Men and Women who, on that day, exhibited far more strength, courage, and wisdom than we are called upon to exhibit on this day.

Let's roll ...

Thanks Rich. VERY GOOD!!!
That's a fabulous essay, Rich!

I'm sure I'll be posting portions of it to my blog in no time, and keep it up! We need more voices of moral clarity.
I am so happy you're blogging again Rich, consider yourself added to my blog roll.
And anybody that disagrees with this we'll torture!

Merry Chrismas Rich.
Merry Christmas, Rich. Hope to see some posts up over here again soon.
Rich, I just found your blog and am so touched by election day prayer, Folded Flags, Christmas and Lighthouse. Thank God there are Americans like you. Flags and Lighthouse both have the makings of American Classics in song version with just the right music, or as poems. With a bit more work on both we the people could have one or two new pieces in print or audio to inspire and encourage Americans and to honor our Precious America. A worthy endeavor, Rich. God Speed.
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