A Prayer for the U.S. Senate Today

Homeless children and a society that didn’t care were the subjects of this century-old prayer by Walter Rauschenbusch, father of the Social Gospel movement that Glenn Beck loves to hate.

The language is dated. The substance is not. As the Senate sets about its debate of universal background checks and other measures to improve public safety, the children of Sandy Hook and their families also come to mind as those who find themselves “homeless” in a violent, uncaring world.

O Heavenly Father, whose unveiled face the angels of little children do always behold, look with love and pity, we beseech Thee, upon the children of the streets. Where men, in their busy and careless lives, have made a highway, these children of Thine have made a home and a school, and are learning the bad lessons of our selfishness and our folly. Save them, and save us, Lord. Save them from ignorance and brutality, from the shamelessness of lust, the hardness of greed, and the besotting of drink; and save us from the greater guilt of those that offend Thy little ones, and from the hypocrisy of those that see and see not, whose sin remaineth. Amen.

About Gordon C. Stewart

Writer and radio commentator published by Minnesota Public Radio and "All things Considered," Star Tribune, MinnPost.com, Presbyterian Outlook, Sojourners' Blog with Jim Wallis and Friends, Chaska Herald. Host of Views from the Edge. Retired Pastor of Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church in Chaska, MN. Co-founder www.requiem2020.org. Former Executive Director, Legal Rights Center, Inc. (Minneapolis public defense corporation). Eat, drink and sleep theology and the news. Walking the trails of Jonathan Association in Chaska with Kay and our friend Barclay, the soccer playing Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who loves to please.
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5 Responses to A Prayer for the U.S. Senate Today

  1. Only by caring, can we show the value of caring, one thoughtful moment at a time… Lord help us to care for all, even the unlovely.

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    • Seems so obvious, doesn’t it, Karin? But…. Love is a practice that has to be practiced, and it extends from the next-door neighbor to the nation’s foreign policy. I’ve found it interesting that sometimes those who oppose government programs that care for people are the most generous with their time and money at a local level. It’s an eye-opener sometimes. In my view, and I believe from a factual point of view, there is simply no way that individual acts of kindness or caring can do what “the people” can do collectively (Social Security, health care, unemployment insurance, etc, etc.).

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      • That is so true – There are those that seem to believe what they can do in the tiny little speck of the world is what counts. They fail to realize that for a nation to be strong, we really need to contribute to.our nation’s common good, not just the small spot where we can see the effects of our largess. Some of my experience with them, is that they do not see the much larger connections and influences that affect our whole community, much less our state, which is, in itself, only a small part of our much larger country. and on and on to the universe. Everything is interdependent – but most do not recognize this. I guess it is way to large for them to get their heads around… Much less the conflicting needs that it encompasses.

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  2. jim Gardiner says:

    Over 100 yrs have come and gone since this prayer was uttered and we as a nation still deem children to be of less value than money and other material holdiings. Shame on us. To qoute a line from a well known song “when will we ever learn?”

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