*Please join with me in this prayer, offered by my friend and spiritual director, Ulysses Castillo:
Dearest Lord, whose glory is in all the world, we commend this nation to your merciful care, that, being guided by your hand, we will open our eyes and learn again what it is to be a nation of love and compassion for all;
For the President of the United States, and to all in authority, who by the stroke of a pen can save or destroy lives, that they will have the wisdom and strength to know and to do your will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people, we pray;
For the earth and the creatures whose habitats will be damaged or destroyed by the Keystone XL Pipeline, that they will be able to survive and find new habitats, we pray;
For the earth (again) and the Native American Sioux of North Dakota whose sacred burial sites and safe drinking water will be disrupted or destroyed by the Dakota Access Pipelines, that their drinking water will remain safe and their ancestors’ bones remain undefiled, we pray;
For the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Dept of Agriculture (USDA), Department of the Interior, and State Department employees who are presently banned from speaking to the public about their work, and whose life-long passion to protect the earth and its people will be hindered, that they will continue to work for the good of all people and not despair, we pray;
For the estimated 21,000 women who will die annually and countless others who will suffer from the reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule, that they will find safe health care through other means, we pray;
For the 20+ million people who may suffer from losing their health insurance as the first steps to dismantle the ACA are taken, that they will remain healthy, be healed, or find other means of paying their high health care bills, we pray;
For peace between Israel and Palestine, which will be further strained by the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem, we pray;
For the earth (again), and science, for a setback in climate change reduction as the long-planned CDC climate summit is cancelled, that reasoned discourse and action to save the planet will be pursued, we pray;
For the immigrants from Mexico, whose suffering will be worsened, and for Sanctuary Cities, whose efforts to help “the least of these” is threatened with funding cuts and retaliation, that bold and effective leadership will rise up to confront the tyranny of selfishness, we pray;
And for refugees from Muslim majority nations, especially the children of Syria, whose unimaginable suffering will be worsened, and families torn apart, as they are turned away from the land of the Mother of Exiles, who once asked for “the huddled masses, yearning to breathe free. Send these, the homeless, the tempest-tossed to me,” but now says, “From this day forward, it’s going to be America first, ” that they may find shelter and peace from countries who will not turn a blind eye to their plight, we pray.
All these we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.