Almighty God, by Your great goodness mercifully look upon Your people that we may be governed and preserved evermore in body and soul; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Our governor in Oregon is not running for re-election. She cannot. There is a term limit clause in our state constitution which precludes another term for her. As with all politicians, it is a mixed bag when I consider her tenure. Compared to some of my colleagues’ experiences in other states, her staff did an exemplary job of communicating with churches throughout the pandemic. I have disagreed with some of her decisions for various reasons, but that applies to every politician. The next election cycle will place another person into this office, and I will have another who governs me. The results will surely be similar, some good things will be done, some things I disagree with.
We pray that God governs us in this prayer. We call him almighty. I am glad that my state governor has limits on her power. God does not. But we look to his goodness for the principle of his rule. That goodness means he looks mercifully upon His people. God could look righteously upon us. He could look vindictively upon us. He could look in all sorts of ways upon us. Almost all of them would result in our death and destruction. We need God to look upon us with mercy.
Look again at this prayer and notice the punctuation carefully. I want to propose an improvement to this prayer. In your mind, remove the semi-colon, the punctuation mark right after “soul.” Read it again as if that semi-colon is not there. I think this reading makes it a much better and more accurate prayer. We are preserved evermore in body and soul through Jesus Christ, God’s Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Spirit. Jesus is the merciful governance and preservation of God for us.