Better next time: A prayer for leadership

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“I pray Heaven to bestow The Best OF BLESSINGS ON THIS HOUSE and All that shall hereafter Inhabit it, May none but Honest and wise Men ever rule under this Roof.”

-John Adams

White-House-inscription-by-John-Adams
Fireplace mantel in White House State Dining Room

That short but powerful prayer by one of our most important founding fathers, our 2nd president, and the first man to reside in the White House, is etched into the fireplace mantel in the State Dining Room.

I believe that we, as a nation, need to begin praying that prayer again in earnest. No matter which side of the political aisle you stand on, Surely, the one thing most of us can agree to is that we can do better.

Yes, we can do so much better.

Let us pray:

Most merciful God, hear our prayer.

We live in a nation built on the highest of ideals. We have the potential for greatness. When we’ve lived up to our own creed, we’ve done wonderful things. When we’ve lost sight of that, we have fallen hard.

Our sins are many.

In our words and documents, we lift everyone up as equal. We speak fondly of the American Dream and how it is available to all who would seek it.

Yet, we have withheld that dream and mistreated millions of people–Native Americans–African Americans–immigrants–women–the poor–those with mental illness–those who have different sexual orientation–the list goes on and on. Our history of dealing with the least of these, our brothers and sisters, is not nearly as admirable as our creed. Indeed, we have consistently fallen short of your glory.

We don’t deserve your grace, but we beg it of you.

We have reached a turning point.

We have come to a place where no admirable leaders appear before us on our horizon. In our last election we were faced with a choice about which very few Americans could be excited.

Where, oh Lord, are our Washingtons? Where are our Adamses? Where are our Jeffersons, our  Madisons, Lincolns, and Roosevelts? Those leaders were all flawed humans with many faults, like all of us, but they were men of deep wisdom. They possessed admirable leadership qualities. They comported themselves with class and upheld the dignity of the highest office of the land.

Despite their flaws, our nation could be proud of the likes of those leaders.

And now, here we are.

Look how far we have fallen, Lord. Hear our pleas.

Faced with the choice of Hillary or Donald, most of us had to vote against someone rather than for someone.

Anyone but Hillary

Never Trump

These now pass for acceptable campaign slogans–and look what it has gotten us.

We have a leader in power that shows no dignity, no kindness, and no grace. Instead of reaching out to help the least of these, our brothers and sisters, he chooses to pick childish fights with them, calling them names, belittling them, and publicly devaluing them.

How did we fall so far? How did it come to this?

Lord, we pray, send us candidates for whom we can proudly cast a vote. Find them in the wilderness and deliver us from this our painful conundrum.

We desperately need a leader to bring honor and good repute back to the White House, be they a man or woman–be they of whatsoever race–be they from whatsoever cultural background–be they of whatsoever political slant, let someone emerge from the fog to lead us once again with dignity, kindness, and grace.

Amen

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