Our scripture this morning is Psalm 72.

Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son! May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice! Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness! May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor! May they fear you while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations! May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth! In his days may the righteous flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more! May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth! May desert tribes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust! May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts! May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him! For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight. Long may he live; may gold of Sheba be given to him! May prayer be made for him continually, and blessings invoked for him all the day! May there be abundance of grain in the land; on the tops of the mountains may it wave; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field! May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed! Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen! The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended.

This prayer asks God to give the king wisdom and mercy to rule the people. King Saul and King David were appointed by God to be in charge of all things in Israel and they literally had the power of life and death. God’s intent was that these chosen leaders would rule as God does, in love and justice. It didn’t always work out that way.

Most of the nations on earth have chosen a form of representative government, which we feel is better than imperial rule by one or a few. However, they are still human, capable of failure and in need of our prayers. We still need the Lord’s blessing on our leaders that we may be fair and honest in our political systems.

If you chuckled or shook your head in dismay at the last statement, you’re probably not alone. Many people are not satisfied with the actions of their representatives. It is said that we get the government we deserve. Starting today, let’s pray for our officials, that God would give them the wisdom and guidance they need.

Gracious God, be with those in positions of responsibility. Lead them that they may govern wisely, with justice and mercy. May we be supportive even when we disagree and work together to do Your will. Amen.

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