A Prayer for Our Country (1/6/21)

Wednesday, January 6th, 2021

Logo for the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

John 18:37


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From Philadelphia, our nation's birthplace, to witness this behavior in our nation's capital is deeply troubling. No, it is an assault on our country and her citizens. Prior to ordination, I spent a career in government and politics. I come from a family who served in all levels of government as elected officials. I can say from experience, that there were elections that were lost that were personal and painful. However, we accepted the will of the people. I accepted them because of the deep love I have for this country and our common principles.

To witness the destruction and disrespect of our nations most valued institutions and symbols not only troubling, it angers me to the core. Yet that anger is tempered by my deep faith and trust in the transformative power of Jesus Christ.  To push to overturn a fair and free election is subversive and dangerous to our Republic. While free speech and public demonstration are enshrined as part of our fundamental rights, this is a direct attempt to overturn the democratic process and outcome that has been validated by all the states of this Republic.


The public pronouncements by a few elected officials to encourage the storming of the symbol of our democracy are inherently destructive to this nation's principles established by Washington, Jefferson, and Madison. Leaders of both parties have condemned these actions. The provisions of the Electoral College are relevant to Article II and 10 separate Amendments of the Constitution. Let us remember the words of James Madison: "I entirely concur in the propriety of restoring to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone, it is a legitimate constitution. And, if that be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for consistent and stable government."


As citizens we look to that same Constitution as the bedrock of our nation.  As Christians our faith and trust rest solely in Christ, who alone can bring light to the darkness currently enveloping our nation. In this moment of crisis and division, I encourage everyone in our diocese to pray. Pray for peace, wisdom, and hope. As one people, let us seek "the better angels of our nature." I hold you and our country in prayer. I ask the churches of our diocese to pray the following prayer:

A Prayer For Our Country

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.