A Prayer for Our Leaders

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Many of us have resorted to raining curses on our corrupt leaders. And the result? More corrupt and heartless leaders. How about we try prayers?

Our leaders, the policies they make, the laws they pass and their execution of those policies and laws play a huge part in our lives. They influence our actions, our plans and our development. As a matter of fact, the way we live our lives depend strongly on the kind of policies that are made by our leaders. This is why we must pray for them as often as possible “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

Many of them lack the wisdom, the love, the sense of responsibility and priority needed to lead a people. For this reason, it is very necessary that we pray to God to fill them with the virtues they lack. Let us then in unison, say this prayer:

“Give us, O God,
leaders whose hearts are large enough
to match the breadth of our own souls
and give us souls strong enough
to follow leaders of vision and wisdom.

In seeking a leader, let us seek
more than development for ourselves.
Though development we hope for,
more than security for our own land; Though security we need,
more than satisfaction for our wants;
Though many things we desire.

Give us the hearts to choose the leader
who will work with other leaders
to bring safety
to the whole world.

Give us leaders
who lead this nation to virtue
without seeking to impose our kind of virtue
on the virtue of others.

Give us a government
that provides for the advancement
of this country
without taking resources from others
to achieve it.

Give us insight enough ourselves
to choose as leaders those who can tell
strength from power,
growth from greed,
leadership from dominance,
and real greatness from the trappings of grandiosity.

We trust you, Great God,
to open our hearts to learn from those
to whom you speak in different tongues
and to respect the life and words
of those to whom you entrusted
the good of other parts of this globe.

We beg you, Great God,
give us the vision as a people
to know where global leadership truly lies,
to pursue it diligently,
to require it to protect human rights
for everyone everywhere.

We ask these things, Great God,
with minds open to your word
and hearts that trust in your eternal care. Amen”.

— Joan Chittister, OSB

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