By Lucas E. Morel

The Prayers of a Self-Governing People

A psalm for election day.

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As we come at last to the decisive election day—and as we anticipate the bitter wrangling that may well follow—we do well to read and reflect upon the remaining verses of Psalm 33 for the revelation they bring about the one true God who rules the heavens and the earth, and what he intends for those who put their trust in him:

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth--
15 he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.
16 No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.
20 We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.

Lucas Morel is associate professor of politics at Washington & Lee University and a Books & Culture contributing editor.

Related Elsewhere:

More information about the candidates and the issues in this year's election is available from our Election 2004 Hot Topic.

Articles on praying for government includes:

The Politics of Prayer | The Presidential Prayer Team prays for Bush, Iraq, and more voters. (July 27, 2004)
Sidestepping Pluralism | National Prayer Breakfast drops Muslim from program. (March 26, 2002)

Our sister publication, Leadership journal, suggests prayer for business leaders as well as politicians.

Books & Culture Corner appears every Tuesday. Earlier editions of Books & Culture Corner and Book of the Week include:

In Memoriam: Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) | Remembering a philosopher who never forgot about death. (Oct. 19, 2004)
Whose Independence? | All the Founding Fathers of America celebrated "independence," but what the word meant depended on who was speaking. (Oct. 12, 2004)
Darkness Visible | An unsparing new memoir by the author of Slackjaw. (Oct. 05, 2004)
After Worldview? | A lively conference offers a state-of-the-art assessment of the concept of "worldview," with both advocates and dissenters represented. (Sept. 28, 2004)
A Forgotten Founder's Fatherhood | Race, nature, and patriarchy meet in Rhys Isaac's biography of early American diarist Landon Carter. (Sept. 21, 2004)
The Great American Hustle | The first volume of an ambitious new history of America highlights the engine of "worldly ideals"—and the role of evangelical religion in creating a distinctive American identity. (Sept. 14, 2004)
The Poet Who Remembered | Poland (mostly) honors Czeslaw Milosz upon his death. (Sept. 07, 2004)
Be Careful What You Pray For | The strange tale of the controversial Bishop Pike and his fatal quest for relevance. (Aug. 31, 2004)
Book 'Em! | The concluding installment of our three-part midyear book roundup (Aug. 24, 2004)
(Not Just) Summer Reading | Part 2 of our midyear report on outstanding books. (Aug. 17, 2004)
Real Fantasy | The first installment in a new Tolkien-inspired series shows genuine promise. (Aug. 17, 2004)
We've Got Books | The first installment of our new midyear book report. (Aug. 10, 2004)
'Be Happy!' | How the ancient Olympics differed from the modern spectacle. (Aug. 10, 2004)

The National Day of Prayer organizes an annual prayer for leaders, next year's will be May 5.

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