Prayer for Our Nation
Lord, while Thy judgments shake the land,
Thy people's eyes are fixed on Thee;
We own Thy just uplifted hand,
Which thousands cannot, will not, see.
How long hast Thou bestowed Thy care
On this indulged, ungrateful spot!
While other nations, far and near,
Have envied and admired our lot.
Here peace and liberty have dwelt,
The glorious Gospel brightly shone;
And oft our enemies have felt
That God has made our cause His own.
But ah! both heaven and earth have heard
Our vile requital of His love;
We, whom like children He has reared,
Rebels against His goodness prove.
His grace despised, His power defied,
And legions of the blackest crimes,
Profaneness, riot, lust, and pride,
Are signs that mark the present times.
The Lord, displease, has raised His rod;
Ah! where are now the faithful few
Who tremble for the Ark of God,
And know what Israel ought to do?
Lord, hear Thy people everywhere,
Who meet to mourn, confess, and pray;
The nation and Thy churches spare,
And let Thy wrath be turned away.
John Newton (1725-1807)