The prayer asks God that “this great land will always be one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
The relationship between the Church and local governments has always been a delicate one. The right to worship freely and follow one’s conscience has been a staple of democratic systems, but there is no guarantee that this right will be faithfully preserved.
This is why it is always appropriate to implore God’s protection of religious liberty and to ask him to watch closely over the people of each nation.
Here is a prayer composed by the bishops’ conference of the United States for this purpose, a prayer that recalls how God is the source of all liberty and is the only one who can truly save us.
O God our Creator,
from your provident hand we have received
our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You have called us as your people and given us
the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God,
and your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be “one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
We ask this through Christ our Lord.