A prayer frequently offered during worship:  “May our country’s leaders end their bickering and work to solve the country’s problems.”

No doubt this petition is innocently intended.  However, its premises seem to be as follows.

1.  Politicians quarrel not because they have fundamentally opposed views of what their job is and how to do it, but because they don’t want to do their job.

2.  Their job is not to govern – that is, to preserve a just order -- but to “lead” – that is, to solve all the country’s problems.

One might as well pray, “May the constitutional system of checks and balances continue to fail.  May the principle of subsidiarity continue to be violated.  May everything that needs to be done in our country be done by an omnicompetent government.  May fundamental disagreements be ignored.  May one faction crush all others so that only one view remains.”

Thy will be done, O Lord.  Please, please, not ours.