Once, in “another” Georgia, in a time well before the Age of Millennials, there existed a righteous culture whose people lived under the Rule of Laws, first, God’s Law, and then under those Laws of their own making; who expected that the neighbors they sent to Congress would abide always and absolutely by His Laws, and would work diligently to craft their Laws so to reflect and apply His Laws in the general cause of Justice, Equality and Liberty for all. They spoke not of Freedom from Religion, but Freedom of Religion; not of Separation of Church and State, but of Separate Church and State; not of removing God from Schools, but of seeking His protection for Schools, to allow teachers, parents, administrators and students to seek wisdom in peace and harmony with each other. Men and women educated in such schools volunteered to seek office not for personal gain, or to promote Party ideology, but to seek to “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”
Such were the obedient and righteous people of Protestant and Catholic America, as yet untarnished by rapacious materialism, egregious consumerism and the spawn of social engineering, and its companion, unfettered sexual narcissism. These men and women would fall upon knees calloused in prayerful pose to give thanks to their Creator, and praise to their Savior, and to entreat Grace from the Holy Ghost.
These Americans believed in God, read His word, sought His counsel, and lived, albeit imperfectly, in obedience to His will, and in all things just and moral sought moderation, understanding and holiness.
Can you imagine telling your neighbors today that you seek holiness? That you seek to live a godly life, that you desire to discern God’s Will, and obey it? Would you even dare tell them that you believe in God, and can you, for no particular reason at all, confess to them that Jesus Christ is Lord, the Son of God?
Once, in that other Georgia, people gathered on Sunday to do just that, to proclaim His glory and promote a just and lasting Nation, led by men and women of Faith. No not everybody voted, but everybody had a voice, and on Sundays those voices, man and woman and child, rose in joyful harmony to Heaven, where prayers are heard and answered, where all men and women are equal, where innocent children await their parents, where husbands cherish their wives and mothers smile at their child’s delights.
This prayer below, in some like form, is as old as this Nation. Such was said by our first President, George Washington, in whose church pew I have sat, and whose Anglican denomination I share. This text dates from the early 19th Century, but remains in use today for worship in the 1928 Prayer Book of the Protestant Episcopal Church and many Contemporary American Anglican and Anglo-Catholic Congregations.
I would call to your attention that the Prayer for Congress implies a Judeo-Christian constituted Congress, and implores God to “direct and prosper” members of Congress, acting in concert with their Faith and respective denominations, so to benefit themselves and all of us in actions and ways peculiarly absent from a majority of those who currently serve us in the Congress of these United States of America.
You may conclude, as I have, that we have broken trust with those who came before us, with those who sought to form a more perfect Union, with those whose blood consecrated that Union and with those whose sacrifices continue to be offered in the name of all humanity; and further, that we have broken Faith with God and abandoned the very source of strength that enlightened and animated our Founding Fathers and propelled us to our place in history. Finally, let me plead with you to pray for our Congress and our President, if not with these words, then with your own. For only God can Bless America, indeed, only God can Save America, and only God can make America “Great Again.” + + +
A Prayer for Congress.
To be used during their Session.
MOST gracious God, we humbly beseech thee, as for the people of these United States in general, so especially for their Senate and Representatives in Congress assembled; that thou would be pleased to direct and prosper all their consultations, to the advancement of thy glory, the good of thy Church, the safety, honour, and welfare of thy people; that all things may be so ordered and settled by their endeavours, upon the best and surest foundations, that peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety, may be established among us for all generations. These and all other necessaries, for them, for us, and thy whole Church, we humbly beg in the Name and mediation of Jesus Christ, our most blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.
The Book of Common Prayer, Page 35, The Seabury Press, New York A.D. MDCCCCLIII