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A Prayer

Eugene H. Peterson, Where Your Treasure Is (William B. Eerdmans Publ. Co., Grand Rapids; 1985), frontispiece

O God of earth and altar,Bow down and hear our cry;Our earthly rulers falter,Our people drift and die;

The walls of gold entomb us,The swords of scorn divide;Take not Thy thunder from us,But take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches,From lies of tongue and pen;From all the easy speechesThat comfort cruel men;

From sale and profanationOf honor and the sword;From sleep and from damnation,Deliver us, good Lord!

Tie in a living tetherThe prince and priest and thrall;Bind all our lives together,Smite us and save us all;

In ire and exultationAflame with faith, and free,Lift up a living nation,A single sword to Thee.

- G. K. Chesterton