Listen to us, O Shepherd of Israel;
hear us, leader of your flock.
Seated on your throne above the winged creatures,
reveal yourself to the tribes of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manassah.
Show us your strength;
come and save us!
Bring us back, O God!
Show us your mercy, and we will be saved!
Read Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
This psalm is titled ‘A prayer for the nation’s restoration’. In it, God’s people pray that their nation, divided by defeat in war, may again be one. From its first line, ‘Listen to us, O Shepherd of Israel; hear us, leader of your flock’ the psalm echoes the people’s plea that God will not overlook them in their suffering.
Sometimes the troubles of a nation appear too big, and we wonder if our prayers do really help. This psalm, along with the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, reassures us that God is concerned with all aspects of his people’s lives and that he wants us to pray for good government.
What would be your prayer for our nation? Would it be for godly leaders who are not afraid to give witness to their faith, for justice to the alienated, for law-abiding citizens? We may each have different petitions to bring to God. Take some time now to pray for our country in the confidence that God does hear and answer prayer.
Heavenly Father, you are the great leader of our nation and all nations. Listen now as I bring these petitions before you . . . Amen.
by Anne Maczkowiack, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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