“I Don’t Hate Anyone!” was in the headlines this morning, attributed to Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, when asked if she hated the president. “I pray for the president every day.”
Well, Nancy, so do I. I pray my own respectfully expanded version of a prayer written in 2009 by Bishop Robert J. Baker of the Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama.*
A Prayer for Our President and Public Officials
Lord God, Author of Life and source of eternal life, move the hearts of all our public officials, and especially our president, to fulfill their responsibilities worthily and well to all entrusted to their care.
Help them in their special leadership roles, to extend the mantle of protection to the most vulnerable, especially the defenseless unborn, the poor and homeless, the elderly, our children and the infirm, the stranger, those marginalized and the abused — all of those whose lives are threatened by an indifferent society.
Guide all public officials by your wisdom and grace to cease supporting any law that fails to protect the fundamental good that is all human life itself, which is a gift from God.
You are the protector and defender of the lives of the innocent unborn and the anawim**. Change the hearts of those who compromise the call to protect and defend all life. Bring our nation to the values that have made us a great nation, a society that upholds the values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.
Mary, Mother of the Living, help us to bear witness to the Gospel of Life, with our lives and our laws, through Christ our Lord.
Of course, the prayer could be as simple as “Oh God, help our nation!”, which seems appropriate for many occasions and religions. As well as “Thank God!” — Which may be the most important of all.
* Imprimatur: January 23, 2009 + Most Reverend Robert J. Baker, Bishop of the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama. His prayer can be found in the Catholic Prayers: Official app, available for iOS and Android.
** Anawim (pronounced ann-a-weem) are the vulnerable people of a society.