Lord Jesus, We see in this passage how important public integrity was to Samuel in his role as a judge, and how important it was to him that he not use his public authority and power to take advantage of anyone or allow justice to be affected by money or political pressure. Lord, we need public servants like that at every level in our culture right now. We ask you to work in us so that we will be careful to choose only those public servants - elected officials and judges - who have the strength of character to refuse to use their position to defraud anyone or to oppress anyone and who will refuse to take a bribe to blind their eyes to justice. Lord, you have been gracious to us as a nation as you were to ancient Israel. When we were oppressed at the beginning of our history, we cried out to you and you sent leaders to us who brought us out and made us dwell in this land. But you teach us here that a nation that forgets you will be sold by you into the hands of its enemies. We ask that your Spirit will prompt us as a people to cry out to you and confess that we have sinned against you and forsaken you. We ask you again to send leaders to us who will deliver us out of the hands of our enemies who are destroying our culture and enable us again to live in safety and security on every side. I pray that we as a nation will fear you and serve you and obey your voice and not rebel against your commandment, because you promise us that if both we and our political leaders follow you, it will be well with us. Please alert us as a nation to the truth that if we do not obey your voice, but rebel against your commandment, your hand will be against us and our leaders. We accept the truth that if we continue to do what is evil in your sight, we and our leaders will be swept away. So I pray that we will not turn aside from following you, but instead serve you with all our heart. Keep us from turning aside after empty things that cannot profit us or deliver us. Lord, everything is empty apart from you and except for you. Draw each of us toward you to fear you and serve you faithfully with all our heart. We rejoice in the truth that it has pleased you, for your great name's sake, to make us a people for yourself, and we claim your promise that if we turn to you, you will not forsake us. May we consider what great things you have done for us, as individuals and as a nation. Please show us who you want us to pray for. May it be far from us to sin against you by ceasing to pray for others. Grant us opportunity to instruct others - our children, our friends, those we fellowship with - in the good and right way that comes from you. We pray these things in your name, amen.