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A prayer for our beloved country

As early voting has begun, here’s a prayer I offered this past Saturday at a precinct meeting. It was written to be nonpartisan, as I understand God not belonging to any party but who does love justice, mercy and walking humbly in paths God-inspired prophets, priests, seers and sages have shown us.

“New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors, and to devote ourselves to being salt and light to our fellow Beaufort County residents. Our nation, state and county are in peril largely because too few of us bother to vote. Help us as we gather this day to pledge our best efforts to rectify that where we live. Guide us to effective politicking for worthy candidates who bring out the best in us rather than appealing to our worst instincts. And may the brightness and winsomeness of our proactive citizenship be a part of a wave of same across our beloved country. Our times are in your hands, O God. Help us to never forget that as we work for a nation that looks more like the world you envisioned when you created it and pronounced it good. We pray this in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.”

While traveling last week in Panama, we heard a guide tell us of how that thriving little nation elects its president once every five years for a single term and that their constitution bars any president from serving more than one term. Election Day is a national holiday and a very high percentage of the eligible voters vote. Can I get an “Amen” to that!

Charles Michael Smith is a retired United Methodist minister and Washington native and resident.