by Colonel Henry Gariepy
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Eternal God, "our help in ages past, our hope for years to come," we turn to you in this hour of crisis and pray for your guidance and strength.
We come to you on behalf of our country and our troubled world. We bring our hearts, with their concerns, with their fears, and with their anguish over those things that must grieve your heart as well.
We come and pray for our beloved country, that we may be true to our spiritual heritage and become truly "one nation, under God."
We pray for your guidance of our president, vice-president, secretary of state, the senate, congress, Prime Minister Tony Blair and all those entrusted with national and world leadership. Help them to know what is right and to seek your guidance in the pursuit of righteousness, freedom and security.
Grant to them we pray wisdom amid the perplexing issues, conviction in the battle with falsehood, courage in the face of danger, and compassion for those who suffer.
We pray for forgiveness where our nation has forgotten You, where we have strayed far from your commandments and moral standards. Save us from ourselves - from our pride, from our lust, from our godlessness, from our obsessions with the temporal over the eternal.
For our men and women who place themselves in harm's way for the cause of freedom and justice, we pray for them to have courage in duty, a new awareness of your salvation, and safe return to home and loved ones.
God bless America with righteousness, which alone exalts a nation.
God bless America with compassion, to reach out to those who suffer.
God bless America with a firm faith, that we may know above all else your will and strength to confront the dangers, both physical and moral, that beset our nation and world.
In this hour we reaffirm our trust in You as "our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble."
We pray in the name of the One who is the Prince of Peace.
Colonel Henry Gariepy was national editor in chief and literary secretary for The Salvation Army until his retirement in 1995 and now serves as literary consultant, conference speaker and college teacher. He is the author of more than 20 books ranging from devotional works to biography and history. His best known titles include 100 portraits of Christ, Portraits of Perseverance, and Songs in the Night: Inspiring Stories behind 100 Hymns Born in Trial and Suffering.