Pause + Pray

Following the Better Angels of Our Nature

woman standing in front of painted wings


In his first inaugural address, President Abraham Lincoln counseled his listeners to follow the better angels of their nature. War was on the horizon, and yet Lincoln asserted that “we are not enemies, but friends.” In our uncivil and divisive time, we can listen to the better angels of our nature and, like Francis, be instruments of peace in every encounter, even in times of contentiousness.


God of all people,
Let me follow the better angels of my nature.
Let me seek peace and strive to be a peacemaker.
Let your dream of peace motivate and guide me
In every situation
So that every encounter will be reconciling, healing, and uniting.


In every situation today, whether watching the news or dealing with others’ behaviors, ask: “In this context, how can I follow the better angels of my nature? How can I promote friendship, not enmity? How can I be a multiplier and not a divider in terms of friendship and creativity?” Observe your responses as you seek to be an instrument of peace toward others and in your life as a citizen.

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