“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 favour and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honourable industry,sound learning, and pure manners.
“Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues.
“Endure 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 times of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness … and compassion for all infirmities.”
~ Book of Common Prayer
Almighty God and Merciful Father, you have established your throne in the heavens and your sovereignty rules over all. You are the one who changes the times and the epochs, and it is you who remove some from authority and raise others up.
Knowing that you are God, we bring these petitions on behalf of those who will be elected to office, as well as the people of this land.
Lord, give us rulers who are better than we deserve. Having forsaken you as a nation, you would be just to discipline us with tyrants. But show us mercy in giving us rulers who will learn to love righteousness and the wisdom of your ways.
Lord, grant us rulers who recognize your authority over them. May this lead them to govern with humility and justice. Cause our rulers to see that you have not ordained them to be saviors, but servants. Help them to be be good ministers of justice, who will judge without partiality and know the limits of their power.
Lord, send us rulers of good character who despise corruption. Do not send us those who would come to steal, kill, and destroy. Protect us from deceivers who would use their office for their own gain. Preserve us from the wicked who would cause us to groan. Rather, increase the righteous that we may rejoice.
Lord, bring woe upon those rulers who call evil good and good evil. And bring us those who are able to discern between good and evil that they would fulfill their calling in keeping with your Word. May your law be the foundation of our laws so that we would have liberty and peace.
Lord, keep us prayerful for those in authority, so that we would lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. Keep us from covetous hearts so that we would not look to our rulers to steal for us. May your Spirit empower us to govern ourselves, since it is only by good self-government that we can ever expect to have good civil government.
Lord, help us to see always that our hope is not in the servants of the state, but in you. Cause us to know that it is righteousness that exalts a nation and nothing else. May this lead us to have repentant hearts and a new desire to honor you.
Comfort us concerning all our cares as we remember that you have already installed Jesus Christ as the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
In His Name, Amen.
Lord of All the Earth,
Forgive our sin and heal our land on the basis of the death
and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Have mercy on us so that we would pray in keeping with
your Word, and live according to your purpose.
Rid us of our double-minded ways, and give us repentant
and obedient hearts.
Lead those in authority over us to not govern by way of deceitful
schemes, but in keeping with truth and righteousness.
Grant your church to be not comprising but faithful, and bear fruit
through her as she walks in a manner that is worthy of You.
Pour your grace on the marriages and families of our land, so that
hardness and bitterness would be replaced by love and peace.
Show kindness to the lost by drawing them to Yourself and
giving them faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Make those who are suffering and in need to turn to You, and as
they do may they know the comfort of your mercy.
Most of all, bring us to recognize Jesus Christ as the Lord over all,
and cause us to be useful in the advancement of His kingdom.
In His Name, Amen.
Rock of ages, You have been our refuge and dwelling place for another year. We thank you that You have provided for all of our needs and praise you for providentially working in all of our affairs.
Though we have had our afflictions, we trust that they have all been according to Your good and wise design.
Help us to use this occasion to consider the past year and Your call upon our lives. May our failings cause us to seek Your grace, and may our successes lead us to glorify Your name.
We rejoice and find peace in knowing that you are the Lord of the new year.
Teach us to number our days that we may present to you a heart of wisdom. Grant us an abundance of your grace so the image of your Son would be better reflected in our lives. And may the hope that you give fill us with all joy and peace in believing, that we will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Nativity Prayer of St. Augustine
Let the just rejoice,
For their justifier is born.
Let the sick and infirm rejoice,
For their saviour is born.
Let the captives rejoice,
For their Redeemer is born.
Let slaves rejoice,
For their Master is born.
Let free men rejoice,
For their Liberator is born.
Let All Christians rejoice,
For Jesus Christ is born.
~ St. Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-440)
“O God, who makes us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of Thine only Son, Jesus Christ: Grant that as we joyfully receive Him for our Redeemer, so we may with sure confidence behold Him, when He shall come to be our judge; who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. AMEN.”
Another prayer of confession, this time based on the ten commandments. . .
“Lord, we have been a stiff-necked people who love unfaithfulness. We have loved other gods before you and have become their slaves. We have not worshiped you in Spirit and in truth, and so we have mocked your glory. We have used your name in vain and profaned your reputation on earth. We have desecrated the Lord’s Day because we have not trusted you to give us rest. We have not honored our fathers and mothers, and so we have proved ourselves rebels. We have hated our neighbors and murdered them in our hearts. We have made adulterers of ourselves in the lust of our eyes or in the deeds of our flesh. We have stolen honor and wealth and privileges that are not ours. We have lied and falsely accused for we have loved gossip more than truth. We have coveted blessings you wisely and righteously gave to others. O LORD, have mercy on us for we have not kept your good and holy law. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us all our sins. Renew us and lead us by your Holy Spirit so that we may delight in your Law and walk joyfully in your ways to the glory of your holy name. Amen.”
Confession is good for the soul. But unfortunately, confession is not given much attention in the church these days. One way to recover the practice of confession is to utilize prayers of the past. Below is a prayer of confession that we use in the liturgy of our church. It’s written for congregational use, but can be used for personal use as well. This prayer is based on the beatitudes, found in Matthew 5.
“Lord Jesus, you taught us that in Your kingdom, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” — but we have been rich in pride. “Blessed are those who mourn” — but we have not known much sorrow for our sin. “Blessed are the meek” — but we are rebellious by nature. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” — but we have great desire for evil and little longing for Your true goodness. “Blessed are the merciful” — but we are harsh and impatient. “Blessed are the pure in heart” — but we have impure hearts. “Blessed are the peacemakers” — but we have not sought reconciliation. “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness” — but our lives do not challenge the world. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me” — but we have hardly made it known that we are yours. Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us all of our sins. Renew us and lead us by your Holy Spirit so that we may seek first your kingdom and Your righteousness and walk joyfully in the way of Your blessing. “