This year, 2008, I’ve gotten closer to the Lord. A lot closer, it turns out.
It probably started during my friend Jerry Fowler’s year-long battle with cancer, which he shared each week with readers of this newspaper. In the final stages of that battle, when the doctors knew the end was near, I used this column to offer a prayer for Jerry.
I had never really seen a prayer like that in a newspaper column, but it was something I felt strongly about, so I did it.
A few months later, as it turned out, I was saying much the same prayer for myself as I discovered a cancerous brain tumor and underwent surgery to remove it. A lot of other people, including countless people I didn’t really even know, helped me out with prayers of their own, for which I am deeply appreciative.
That was nearly three months ago, and the prayers seemed to have worked. Just a week or so ago, I went to Charleston for my first regular MRI to check for any recurrence, and the doctors at MUSC announced that I’m still 100% A-OK. (Of course, they’re only referring to my medical condition… not my personality, my looks, or my sense of humor!)
Through these two events, I have learned that, yes, it is ALWAYS okay to turn to the Lord in prayer, especially in a time of need or crisis. And that includes right here in my weekly newspaper column, if I so choose.
Which brings me to the coming election: I am deeply concerned for our nation, and -- just like being faced with cancer -- believe we might do well to pray about it.
I am truly concerned that our nation seems prepared to enter into an election – maybe the biggest in history, probably an election that will change our world forever, while the messages of 9/11 should still be weighing heavy upon us every minute of every day – without truly seeking the guidance of our Lord.
The next four years will see many changes in our world, and the leader we elect will help determine the world we will all live in for the rest of our lives, and the world we will leave to our children and grandchildren.
So, today, I am offering a prayer of guidance for the coming election, in hopes that, perhaps, we as Americans will look to a higher power to make these important decisions.
This is not a Republican prayer or a Democrat prayer. It is simply a short prayer to seek the Lord’s will before we cast our ballots.
Of course, you may well have your own words, which is even better, because, as I’ve mentioned here before, this is not really my strong suit.
But, one way or they other, I hope you’ll join me in praying about it before you vote… and maybe even encourage others to join you.
A Prayer for Our Nation
November 4th, 2008
As we go into this most important day of decision for Your world, grant us the understanding to know your will, and the courage to act upon it.
Place your spirit within our hearts to guide us in this decision, and in every decision for our nation, and for Your world.
Make each of us an instrument of Your will, and our nation a tribute to Your goodness, that we might be ever in your grace and protection to fulfill your Divine Purpose on this earth.
Make us ever mindful that with God, we cannot fail; without Him, we cannot succeed. Guide us to once again be a nation which proudly declares, "In God We Trust."
Bless these candidates with the faith and wisdom to ask that You might use them according to Your will and purpose, and to restore and protect our nation as Your light for the world. May our new President be graced with the power, wisdom, discernment and enlightenment that can come only from You.
And bless this election that it might strengthen our nation to prosper and endure in the service of Your Holy Name.