A Prayer for Politicians and Public Officeholders

Mark Johnson | November 2, 2020

Last week we spoke with Dennis Johnson who shared this prayer from Walter Rauschenbusch, a Baptist pastor and founder of the Social Gospel movement.  May we remember that God continues to work for justice, peace, and healing as we move through this season of election.

O GOD, thou great governor of all the world, we pray thee for all who hold public office and power, for the life, the welfare, and the virtue of the people are in their hands to make or to mar.
We remember with shame that in the past the mighty have preyed on the labors of the poor; that they have laid nations in the dust by their oppression, and have thwarted the love and the prayers of thy servants.
We pray thee that by the free institutions of our country the tyrannous instincts of the strong may be curbed and turned to the patient service of the commonwealth.
Strengthen the sense of duty in our political life. Grant that the servants of the state may feel ever more deeply that any diversion of their public powers for private ends is a betrayal of their country.
Purge our cities and states and nation of the deep causes of corruption which have so often made sin profitable and uprightness hard.
Bring to an end the stale days of party cunning.
Breathe a new spirit into all our nation.
Lift us from the dust and mire of the past that we may gird ourselves for a new day's work.
Give our leaders a new vision of the possible future of our country and set their hearts on fire with large resolves. Raise up a new generation of women and men, who will have the faith and daring of the Kingdom of God in their hearts, and who will enlist for life in a holy warfare for the freedom and rights of the people.

Walter Rauschenbusch, 1910
Baptist pastor, social prophet, American reformer

3 months


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