A prayer for our leaders and country B F M The North Carolina Fellowship of Friends (Quakers) is troubled, as all Christians and non-Christians must be, by the escalating belligerence and divisiveness in our nation. Based on our historic Christian witness for peace and equality we feel compelled to offer the following prayer for our president and for the members of Congress: “Dear heavenly Father, Lord, God who has dominion and rule over all nations (Psalms 22:28), we bow before you and humbly ask that you hear our prayer for our nation and its leaders. We offer this prayer, Lord, not audaciously but in modest response to your directive to ‘Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute, . . .the poor and needy’ (Proverbs 31:8-9). Lord, we ask that you give our leaders the courage to turn from political expediency to humanitarian virtue. Teach us to welcome the stranger warmly, to offer an abundance of clean water to the thirsty, to care for the sick with proper medical attention (Matthew 25). We implore you to intercede to stop the cruel rending of families who are fleeing persecution. Remind those of our leaders who profess to be Christian of Christ’s words, ‘Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me’ (Luke 9:46). “Nullify the maliciousness of those who use racial intolerance and misogynistic contempt to gain fleeting political advantage. Open their eyes to see that we are a nation of your servants created equal in your image, divided not by color, ethnicity, gender, or even religious dogma but only by those who ignore justice and hate kindness (Micah 6:6). “Loving God, our leaders have it within their power to quell the flames of hatred that are consuming our nation. Show them that there is no patriotism in political pettiness, no salvation in small-mindedness, no honor in paying homage to divisive political slogans. “Finally, we fervently pray for the alleviation of suffering of those innocent victims subjected to national policies specifically designed to be cruel and intimidating. “Through this prayer we bring these problems to the attention of our leaders. May their hearts and minds be open to the leading of your holy Spirit. “We, the members of the North Carolina Fellowship of Friends, united in prayer submit this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.” Frank Massey is pastoral minister, Jamestown Friends Meeting, and submitted this prayer on behalf of the North Carolina Fellowship of Friends. WILFREDO LEE/The Associated Press Children line up to enter a tent on Feb. 19 at the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children in Homestead, Fla.