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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1468
AUTHOR: George L. Locke (18??–)
QUOTATION: Almighty God, who hast 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 honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endure with the spirit of wisdom those to 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 the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail; Amen.
ATTRIBUTION: GEORGE L. LOCKE, prayer, c. 1880.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt included it as “an old prayer” without attribution, in his final radio speech of the 1940 presidential campaign, November 4, 1940.—The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1940, pp. 557–58 (1941). Life magazine reproduced the prayer in its issue of November 18, 1940, and in a letter to the editor in the December 9 issue, p. 4, the Rev. Mr. Locke’s daughter wrote about his authorship and the circumstances of his composing the prayer.