Because of my commitment to the integrity of prayer, starting this week, I can no longer recite or say amen to the Shabbat prayer for the success of the U.S. President.
So I have drafted a new prayer that I will plan to recite each Shabbat morning. If you also feel it’s important to pray for the U.S. government but also feel you cannot pray for the success of this President, feel free to use this or adapt it as you please. I felt that it was not enough to simply avoid the U.S. President in the prayer for the government but to remind myself of the billions of vulnerable people who are at risk under his rule, and challenge myself each Shabbat to build up the strength for another week of spiritual resistance.
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O God and God of our Ancestors,
help us with our struggle.
We yearn for the success of the American government,
to fulfill its righteous mandate,
to protect its citizens from threats internal and foreign,
to fortify the bonds between liberty and justice,
to ordain fair treatment under the law,
and to expand welfare
to all those within its capacity.
We pray that the vision of the prophets—
the redemptive power of justice;
relief for the poor,
welcome for the marginal,
protection for the oppressed,
care for the sick—
and the vision of the Constitution—
of a more perfect union—
be brought about.
Guide the incoming leader of this country
away from his basest instincts,
thwart his plans
to target certain groups
and strengthen white supremacy;
for You know, God,
that all were created
in Your image.
We pray that the decrees
from the Executive office
do not harm the innocent.
We pray that any policies
that are meant to harm the vulnerable
in prioritization of the powerful and privileged
will be quashed.
Should there be plans
that will merely benefit
the most privileged Americans,
but not all of humankind
and the planet we call home,
may they fail.
May our nation not consort or conspire
with totalitarian despots
but reaffirm our commitment
to freedom and democracy.
Grant us the strength
to demonstrate spiritual resistance,
to imbue our sinews with the highest integrity.
Give us the wisdom and courage
to do what’s right
to protect the most powerless and defenseless
May agents of hate
who stray from Your holy vision of love and justice,
found within and outside our country,
May all of Your creations
be handled mercifully.
May all to whom You have given the sanctity of life
awaken and fulfill their calling
to bring love,
to all corners of Your world.
May Your land,
and our government,
strive to be a blessing for all.
This prayer was originally shared via Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz on Facebook, here.
“Prayer for Our Nation [upon the Inauguration of Donald Trump], by Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz (2017)” is shared through the Open Siddur Project with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International copyleft license.