No ... not my first prayer, but a prayer after the Inauguration ceremonies yesterday. This prayer was written by Rev. Dr. Ianther Mills, my District Superintendent.
God of mercy and grace, as we stand at the threshold of new leadership for our nation, we pause to give thanks to you O Lord for the one who has led us; and we pause to ask that your grace might rest upon the one who will lead us forward!
We give thanks for President George W. Bush ... for his years of committed service. We give thanks for that which was accomplished under his leadership. Knowing that we are not only defined by what we have done but also what we will do, we give thanks for what he is still becoming in your hands. Bless President Bush and first lady Laura Bush as they bid farewell to this time of service and prepare to begin another season of their life journey.
As one leaves and another assumes the office of President, we are mindful that this is a turning point in the history of our nation. Mindful that this is a defining moment, mindful that the road may not be easy, mindful that this President takes office at a time when the nation faces many challenges! But, for many, hope is in the air! Expectations are high! And, the bar has been raised!
Therefore, we pray for President Barack Obama and his term of office. May he lead this nation with wisdom and insight, with courage and perseverance, with mercy and justice, with passion and compassion, with clarity of purpose, and with the fear of God! May he be a leader for all people! May he be a leader of integrity and conviction! Let his "No" be "No"; and let his "Yes" be "Yes"!
He is one who dared to have the audacity to hope ... to hope for change. We too hope for change! We hope for change in turbulent times. We hope for change in economic uncertainty. We hope for a change in disparate treatment. We hope for peace in a time of war. But most of all we hope for the reign of God! May that hope be born! May that hope be realized! May that new day come!
And now, O God, lead and guide your servant Barack Obama! Lead and guide us as a people by your grace! May we all be the change we want to see, created, recreated, transformed, strengthened and sustained by your Holy Spirit! Amen
Regardless, of where you may be on the political spectrum, any of us who profess to be apprentices of Jesus Christ have a responsibility to be in prayer for our leaders. At the very least, may we cover our president in our prayers during these next four years.