A Prayer for Our Courts and Judges

By Priests for Life

U.S. Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C.
The Supreme Court Building is the seat of the Supreme Court of the United States. Built in 1935, it is situated at 1 First Street, NE, in Washington, D.C., on the block immediately east of the United States Capitol. Danita Delimont/Getty Images

In the United States, the national legalization of abortion occurred not through legislative action but through court rulings, especially the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. This prayer, written by Priests for Life, one of the chief Catholic pro-life organizations, seeks wisdom for our judges and the politicians who appoint them, so that all unborn life may be protected.

Prayer for Our Courts and Judges

Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of our nation.
You alone rule the world with justice,
Yet you place in our hands the solemn duty
of participating in the shaping of our government.
I pray today for our President and Senators
Who have the responsibility of placing judges on our courts.
Please protect this process from all obstruction.
Please send us men and women of wisdom,
Who respect Your law of Life.
Please send us judges with humility,
Who seek Your truth and not their own opinions.
Lord, give all of us the courage we need to do what is right
And to serve you, the Judge of all, with fidelity.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!

An Explanation of Priests for Life's Prayer for Our Courts and Judges

All authority, including government authority, comes from God. But those who govern do not always use that authority in ways that advance justice. Both our elected leaders and our appointed judges need wisdom and God's guidance to use their authority properly.

As citizens, we have a responsibility not only to participate in our government, but to pray for those we have chosen to lead us at every level of government. The president of the United States chooses candidates for federal judges and justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, and the members of the U.S. Senate approve those candidates. We pray that we choose our leaders wisely, and that they choose our judges wisely, so that those judges may act justly and with wisdom.

Definitions of Words Used in A Prayer for Our Courts and Judges

Solemn: serious

Duty: an obligation or responsibility; in this case, our obligation as citizens, "[a]s far as possible," to "take an active part in public life," as noted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (para. 1915)  

Obstruction: something that blocks the progress of something good; in this case, obstacles to the appointment of wise and just judges

Wisdom: good judgment and the ability to apply knowledge and experience in the right way; in this case, a natural virtue rather than the first of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit

Humility: modesty about oneself; in this case, a recognition that one's own opinions are less important than the truth

Opinions: one's beliefs about something, whether true or not

Fidelity: faithfulness