Praying for Presidents

On Christmas morning, as my two teenagers began to open a shared present, I told them that the gift needed several caveats.

“First,” I said, “remember that we believe in the work of peace more than the work of war.”

“Second, world domination is a terrible business; remember that the manifestations of colonialism continue to impact and undermine peoples around the world.”

“And third,” I admittedly sheepishly, “I’ve played this game since I was a kid, but I can never manage the strategy to win it.”

With a synchronized roll of their eyes, my son and daughter finished opening the present: the board game Risk, which challenges players to conquer the world region by region. Risk posits each player as a conqueror, a global leader of sorts—or at least, a global contender.

And in the contentious world of global leadership, not only in a board game but in real life, might often rules the day. Might of military. Might of voice. Might of money. Might of influence. Might of ego.

Which is why we pray—with renewed discipline in this new year—for our worldly rulers to be guided by righteousness more than mightiness. To defend the cause of the poor more than the cause of the rich. To strive for peace in such a way that all people will have enough.

We pray for rulers and royalty, for presidents and parliaments, that those in leadership might love the work of peace more than the work of war.

on Psalm 72, written for the Stillspeaking Daily Devotional

Growing Up

Holy and Beloved,
our Wisdom and our Peace,
we add our praise to the song
of heaven and earth:

You are good and glorious!

Holy and Beloved,
our Wisdom and our Peace,
we seek after you in word and deed,
in breath and fellowship.

You are both siren and satisfaction!

Holy and Beloved,
our Wisdom and our Peace,
dwell in us even as we dwell in you
by dwelling with one another.

You are grace and generosity!

Holy and Beloved,
our Wisdom and our Peace,
be our heart’s treasure
and our life’s mercy.

Amen.

on the Revised Common Lectionary texts,
cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Universal

Let the sun and moon beam with pride:
God has come!

Let the sea monsters and stormy winds howl with the wildness of it:
God has come!

Let those who have been weary dance the good news
and those whose throats have been parched sing it together:
God has come!

Let mighty rulers learn of it from their poorest citizens:
God is with us!

Let the youngest and eldest prophesy it together:
God is with us!

Let the mountains and rivers testify to it
and all the wildlife be satisfied in it:
God is with us!

Let the song be as high as the shining stars:
God is faithful!

Let the shout be as thunderous as an earthquake:
God is faithful!

Let the reassurance be as sweet as a lullaby
and the hope as delicious as a daydream:
God is faithful!

Have I not yet heard the song of the universe in my heart, O God? Have I missed the delight of creation in the very cells of my skin, O Spirit? Keep me quick with praise and awake to joy!

on Psalm 148, written for the Stillspeaking Daily Devotional

Revelation

O Present and Still Coming Wisdom,
contrary to the lessons of this world:

From the littlest ones teach us love,
and from the meekest show us majesty.

In the ire of self-righteousness reveal human foolishness,
and in the heartbeat of wealth lay plain hopelessness.

To the most outcast announce the greatest joy,
and for the most fearful build a hedge of peace.

In the songs of young womxn disclose your holy vision,
and through the visit of angels make us co-conspirators.

O Present and Still Coming Wisdom,
let us not miss your unending incarnation.

Amen.

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals