Monday, November 01, 2010

Two Anglican Prayers for the Election

Almost four years ago, the day before the midterm election in 2006, I received this email from a good friend who is a church musician and outspoken liberal. I was thinking about it today in advance of tomorrow's election.
Mon, Nov 6, 2006 at 11:40 AM
To: Ian Everhart (et al.)
Subject: A Pre-Election Prayer from the English Church Music Tradition

Dear Friends:

After listening to NPR and reading the Times this morning I found that - as so often happens when I find myself in a complete state of emotional collapse such as this election has engendered - a great English text popped, unbidden, into my consciousness. Verse 2, 1747 version, of "God save the King" has never seemed so apposite. Note the absence of a reference to the King (impossible to construe divine favor for GWB) and the fact that I, as usual, have blasphemously assumed that, at least in certain matters, God thinks like I do.

O Lord, our God, arise.
Scatter thine enemies,
And make them fall.
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On thee our hopes we fix,
God save us all.

This would be a good place for an "Amen."
Frustrate their knavish tricks, indeed.

I also love our Book of Common Prayer's section on various Prayers and Thanksgivings, including this one, found on page 822:

Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States in the election of officials and representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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