Creator and sustainer of our world and creator and sustainer of our nation. Today we acknowledge that the sole reason our country exists is because it was in your good purpose that it should be so.
And so it is, Father, that as citizens of your Kingdom first and of the United States of America second we come before you today on behalf of her and her people.
At this time in our history our country feels far more divided than united.
Father, we have divided ourselves over politics. Spurred on by the loud and nonstop voices of our media, the divide of right and left has become so great that a canyon has opened up that threatens to swallow us all. I recognize that these divides have always existed and always will, but I ask that our first response to those who disagree with us would not be to lash out with vitriol but rather to extend grace, compassion, and understanding. Father, teach us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Father, we have divided ourselves over race and religion. My heart breaks that to this day there are places in this country where merely having dark skin can make one a target and at greater odds for having violence perpetrated against them. I ask that you would change hearts in our country in how we regard race. May the white man see the black man as his brother and may the black man see the white man as his brother. I pray that our country would be a place where the Christian can walk home from church without fear and that it would also be a place where the Muslim can walk home from mosque without fear. A place where the atheist does not feel threatened by the religious and the religious do not feel threatened by the atheist. I ask that you would help us to see the diversity of our country not as something to be feared but as a beautiful tapestry of people created in your image and for your glory. I ask that you would show us how to value all lives equally regardless of race or religion. Father, teach us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Father, we have become a country accustomed to war. Our very purpose here today is to train to fight and win the wars of our country. So today I offer a prayer that might seem at odds with our purposes but certainly is not at odds with yours. I pray for peace. I pray for the day when the job of an Army Chaplain is no longer necessary because war is no more. Father, may it be. I pray for the day when the tanker trades his Abrams for a business suit. Father, may it be. I pray for the day when the infantryman trades his rifle for the scrubs of a nurse. Father, may it be. I pray for the day when the fueler no longer enables the weapons of war and instead fuels tractors on a farm. Father, may it be. And until that day when war is no more, I ask that our country would be a country that always strives for peace as the first resort and only sees war as a last and most terrible resort. Father, teach us to love our neighbors in other countries as we love ourselves.
And so it is that we continually commit our country to your care. We pray that you would use our country to be a beacon of hope and peace in the world and that our world would be a better and safer place because of the existence of the United States of America.
In your holy name we pray – Amen