Sunday, November 09, 2008

a prayer

A few days ago, Joe emailed to see if I would be willing to lead a prayer specifically about the change our country will undergo with the election of Obama as President. I let things simmer on the mental back burner until Sunday, when I scribbled out what I thought I wanted to say to God about this past week on behalf of the community at CCfB. It's kind of an awesome thing to pray communally, especially in a tradition where you don't necessarily have the resources of a Book of Common Prayer to reach for when you need words. I often go to the BCP when working on prayers for CCfB, but this time--regarding this momentous occasion--I wanted words of my own, to speak from the heart (though not, clearly, from the hip, so to speak. Heh heh.)

Here it is.

God in Heaven:

We know that you are with us, throughout our lives and in the turning points of history. We thank you for this determination to be continually present with us in these moments, and we pray that we will always be aware of and responsive to your gracious presence.

We pray now for the future of this country and for the world: for your creation, and your creatures within it. We pray that the leaders newly elected and appointed will govern with wisdom.

But even more than for President-Elect Obama and the newly elected leaders in Congress, we pray for ourselves, the people of this nation: those born here and all those who live here. We pray that we will lose the vocabulary of victory in our conversations with one another, knowing that all human achievements, even the most stirring, are transient and imperfect; true victory, and true justice, remain in your hands. Give us humility.

And while we rejoice in the symbolism of electing our first African-American president, we pray that we will not be satisfied with symbolism only, but that we will be energized, empowered, and determined to break down the boundaries between us that should never have been drawn. May we transgress those boundaries joyfully, and without fear.

We pray these things in the name of Him through whom all things are possible, your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Justin Burton said...

Any use of the phrase "transgress those boundaries joyfully" gets an Amen! from me.

Vasca said...

Michael said this is an excellent is...thanks!