Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 (NRSV)
Verse 1Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king's son.
Verse 2May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.
Verse 3May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.
Verse 4May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.
Verse 5May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
Verse 6May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.
Verse 7In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
Verse 18Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.
Verse 19Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.
The psalm for today invites us to pray for our leaders, not merely for the sake of their personal wellbeing, but more so that their leadership may lead to the wellbeing of the people in their care. At a time when political divisiveness is so pervasive, it is good for all of us to remember that a failure in leadership doesn’t only affect a distant political party or particular person; the effects ripple out to our most intimate communities. How we engage with the various leaders and how those leaders then engage the issues of the poor and oppressed will deeply shape the health of the overall community; when we are pitted against one another we lose the vision and possibility of God’s kingdom. As you walk or drive through your neighborhood today, what prayers can you lift up for the leaders in your area?
God who is called Lord, and Jesus who is called Prince and King, help shape our imaginations about how good leadership works. May we honor your leadership by looking to you for wisdom and insight and keeping everyone in our community in prayer even when it seems difficult to do so. Amen.