We the people are getting poorer every day, as health and welfare benefits are cut both by government and corporations, while energy prices continue to rise. Our national treasury is bankrupt, yet our so-called representatives in Congress, who actually work for the corporations, continue to spend extravagantly to support Halliburton's war in Iraq, and to cut taxes for the rich. Our country is devastated by hurricanes intensified by global warming, yet our government refuses to take simple measures to curb carbon emissions.
When the ship is sinking, sailors start praying. Perhaps its time for we the people to acknowledge that we are in trouble, and look for spiritual help.
Psalm 69: 30But we are afflicted and in pain;
let your saving help, O God, protect us.
What's the point of prayer? How can some mythical being with a long white beard, somewhere, out there, possibly help us?
Prayer does a lot for us, psychologically. First of all, it enables us to put our egos aside and acknowledge that we need help, that we are in trouble, that we don't have it all together, we don't have all the answers. Any 12-stepper will tell you how important this sort of humility is, the first step in recovery from any sort of problem.
Next, we acknowledge a higher power that is able to help us. This can be thought of as God, as the collective wisdom of humanity, as the spiritual heritage of humanity expressed through many holy writings of many traditions, or as our DNA looking for a way to continue to perpetuate itself, even in the face of nuclear pollution and global warming.
All of these ways of thinking about who or what we pray to puts us in touch with a higher plane of consciousness, a way of looking at our situation from God's point of view. Then we see that we in America are one nation among many, and that our losses, of wealth, freedom and a sense of integrity, are taking place in a global context.
Prayer gives us the clarity to see the truth, on the one hand, that we are being victimized by a gang of vicious criminals. On the other hand, we Americans have to take responsibility for allowing them to remain in power, for several reasons.
First of all, we the people have ultimate sovereignty and authority, and therefore responsibility, under the US Constitution. We have the right and the duty to learn the truth about our elected officials and hold them accountable for their actions. Secondly, we the people have benefited over the years from some of the criminal activities of our government, with a higher standard of living than much of the rest of the world- although this is no longer true.
Prayer gives us the courage and humility to face our complicity, our codependence, with the lies and evil machinations of the Bush administration. We must repent of our failure to speak out as much as we can, to organize, to totally fulfill our duties as citizens of a democratic republic.
As we pray, we become aware that we are not alone, that millions of people in the US and around the world are praying for an end to war, and pollution, and corruption, and devastation, and are seeking spiritual power to bring truths to light, right wrongs, and increase cooperation among nations. This gives us hope, and confidence to do what we need to do. We find guidance from the holy writings, and from our hearts, and from the answers God gives to our prayers, which can come in many forms.
Surely a tough and fair prosecuting attorney going after high officials is an answer to prayer. Surely having John Conyers, that battle scarred veteran, friend of MLK's, as the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, the body that conducts impeachment hearigs, is a gift from God. Surely, the courage and integrity displayed by Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame, Cindy Sheehan, and a host of other outspoken, patriotic Americans are signs that God has not abandoned us.
The spiritual battle of Armageddon that we are fighting in America, to overthrow the king allied with the beast, will be prolonged and difficult. Let's do our best to keep it peaceful, using the weapons of truth and justice that we have been given. Keep working for impeachment, keep testifying to the truth. We pray for help, for wisdom and strength, for protection.
In the name of the Prince of Peace, Carol Wolman