This past week I had an appointment across the street from the church in the Texas Medical Center. As I walked past Methodist Hospital in the rain, I was very much aware of the fact that former President George H.W. Bush was there in an intensive-care unit because of problems related to pneumonia. So I prayed not only for him but also for his wife Barbara, who had been admitted to the same hospital because of fatigue.
The next day was the presidential inauguration, when I prayed again for the current leaders of our nation. I used these words, repeated from one generation to another by people of faith who have come before us, that are printed in the American version of the Book of Common Prayer:
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.