From the Prayer Book for Jewish Personnel in the Armed Forces of the United States:
God of our fathers, who gives salvation to nations and strength to governments, bless and safeguard our country, the United States of America, and the people who dwell therein.
May brotherly love ever be found among all the citizens of our land. Implant in the hearts of all the people a steadfast purpose to work as one for the safeguarding of freedom, justice, and peace.
Supreme King of kings, protect and help our President. Shield him against all sickness and injury. Grant to him and to all the constituted officers of our government such wisdom and understanding that they may lead our nation in justice and righteousness. In their days and ours may Judah be saved and Israel dwell in safety.
In time of war add:
We beseech You, O God, to shield and protect our armed forces, in the air, on sea, and on land. Bless them with victory. May it be Your will that the dominion of tyranny and cruelty speedily be brought to an end and the kingdom of righteousness be established on earth with liberty and freedom for all mankind. Amen.
This prayer is timeless, and yet seems written for this war.
One of the things it asks for is the implanting in our hearts of a “steadfast purpose to work as one” which is exactly what we need in this critical time. The lack of unity we see in our culture is a bigger weapon than the RPGs and IEDs the insurgents use-- it is delaying victory and causing more Iraqi and American deaths than we’d have if we all worked together for a full and speedy victory. And not having brotherly love has caused divisive and hateful rhetoric to poison our national discourse and sidetrack us from our cause.
And one more thing—this war always has been about more than America. No matter what the conspiracy theorists say, this war’s been about Afghanis, Iraqis, and the whole world. We’re not only fighting for our own interests or freedom, but also for the interests and freedom of ALL. As the prayer says, we are fighting to destroy the dominion of tyranny and cruelty speedily, so that “the kingdom of righteousness be established on earth with liberty and freedom for all mankind.”
Let’s pray for that, and let’s remember it, so that we stay on course and fight the good fight to win.
Lord, grant us success!