Prayer for the Church and for Civil Authorities

Composed by Bishop John Carroll in 1800

We pray Thee, O almighty and eternal God, who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy name. We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge and sincere zeal of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of His Church, our own Bishop, all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise among us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation. We pray Thee, O God of might, wisdom and justice, through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted and judgment decreed, assist with Thy holy spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of the United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides: by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion, by a faithful execution of the laws of justice and mercy, and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety and useful knowledge, and may perpetuate to us the blessings of equal liberty. We pray for their excellencies, the Governors of our States, for the members of the Legislature, for all judges, magistrates and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability. We recommend likewise to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens through the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law, that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give, and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal. Finally, we pray Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace: the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those, who, when living, were students of this College, and particularly such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this College, witnessed their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen. (From the College Manual of Prayers, 1959)

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