Here is a prayer I use:
Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech you that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of your favor and glad to do your will.
Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners.
Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion us into one united people. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in your Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to your law, we may show forth your praise among the nations of the earth.
In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in you to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (from the Book of Common Prayer)
Gary again – May I suggest that many (most?) of us would pray it this way: that we will apply the “good stuff” to ourselves, and the negative things to The Other (the other race, the other language, the other political party).
That would make it look something like:
And so forth. Maybe I’m wrong and maybe I’m the only one who feels this temptation.
No. I cannot imagine that we can dissect a prayer like this and go before the Lord with a straight face. Woe to the worshiper who speaks or even implies such proud exceptionalism in their prayer.
“Prayer for our nation,” by Gary S. Shogren, Professor of New Testament, Seminario ESEPA, San José, Costa Rica