O Good Shepherd, seek me out and bring me home to your fold again. Deal favorably with me according to your good pleasure, till I may dwell in your house all the days of my life, and praise you forever with them that are there.
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of hosts! Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Have mercy on us, God the Father Almighty! O Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, God of hosts, be with us, for we have no helper in our hardships and distress but you.
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all people, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” (I Timothy 2:1-2)
Many are familiar with St. Paul’s advice to the young bishop Timothy, and through him to all believers, concerning how Christians should regard civil authorities. Even the most rudimentary knowledge of Church history — or more broadly of world history — will reveal the significance of Paul’s words. St. Paul is exhorting believers to offer prayers and the “giving of thanks,” literally the Eucharist, for a regime that was intentionally and mercilessly targeting Christians for extinction.
The implication of these words is clear. We pray for our civil leaders, even remembering them in our most solemn celebration, the Liturgy, regardless of whether they like us or not. We can extrapolate from the Apostle’s words that, in a democracy, we should pray for our civil leaders whether we voted for them or not, whether they are from the party we support or not.
That’s the first half of the above passage. Let’s also pay attention to the second half. We pray for our civil authorities for a specific purpose: “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” Our prayer is that, in the administration of their duties, our civil leaders create an environment that is conducive to believers engaging in the daily task of being our Lord’s disciples. Again, though, we can do some extrapolating here.
If we are asking God to move the hearts of our civil authorities in ways that will allow us to live peaceful, godly lives, that means that we are identifying peaceful, godly lives as a priority. Regardless of who wins this election, may we always stay prayerful and peaceful, godly and reverent, including (and maybe these days especially) in our reaction to the winners and our response to the losers.
O God, illumine our minds and keep watch over our senses, that we may finally reach life everlasting, after walking the path of your commandments every day of our lives as we should.
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14)
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, O God, instill the wisdom of your Holy Spirit in my heart; protect my soul and body, every fiber of my being, from all possible harm, all traps of the Devil and every temptation to sin.
O Holy Spirit, through the course of this day grace me with your fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Glory to you, O Christ, our Master and King, the pride of the apostles, the crown of the martyrs, the joy of the righteous, the firm foundation of the churches, and the forgiveness of sins!
You, O God, have given us your word for a light to shine upon our path. Grant us to meditate on that word, and to follow its teaching, that we may find in it the Light that shines more and more until that perfect day, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Lord, forgive our trespasses. Lord, visit the sick among your people and heal them to the glory of your holy name. Grant rest to all our family and friends who have departed this life before us. Help us and accept our prayers, O one and only sinless Lord.