For years we have been told that one of our nation’s founding fathers was a deist. Deism is the belief that God created the universe and left it to run on its own and has no interaction with what takes place in that universe whatsoever. This prayer would suggest that what we’ve been told is in error. A Deist would not pray at all much less the things Thomas Jefferson said in this prayer.
“Almighty God, Who has given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honorable ministry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people, the multitude brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endow with Thy spirit of wisdom those whom in Thy name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that through obedience to Thy law, we may show forth Thy praise among the nations of the earth. In time of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail; all of which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
– Thomas Jefferson, A Prayer for the Nation, 1801