342: An Inaugural Prayer for President Barack Obama — and All of Us

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T
his is part of our ongoing coverage
of the spiritual power blossoming around the historic transition in Washington D.C. We’ve already taken a look at several examples of spiritual activism focused on the inauguration. Stay Tuned! Throughout the coming week, we’ll have much more.
    TODAY, well in advance of the inauguration weekend (including the King holiday and Inauguration Day), we’re publishing this special prayer we hope you’ll share with others.

An Inaugural Prayer for President Obama and Us
By the Rev. Marsha M. Woolley

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    CREATING GOD OF LANDS AFAR AND MINE…
    On tiptoe we stand…expectant, eager, hopeful, anticipating…peering over the edge from what has been and on the threshold of what is to come; longing for, yearning for a better way, a more holistic way, a more gracious way of living in this country and in the world. It seems the whole world is holding its breath, daring to believe that the mess we’ve created is not permanent; that you have indeed raised up in our midst one who can lead us in ways that will restore the values and character upon which this land was once established.

    In this inaugural time, O God, we hold our breath…praying that the good identified in Barack Obama will be used to turn around the hollow systems that have led us down selfish paths, to mend the broken bureaucracies that have led to inertia and inaction, to discard the worthless wasting of precious resources, and to pave new avenues of liberty and justice for all people. Yet, keep us from holding our breath… as if this one appointed man can or should — or is even expected to — heal this country alone. Indeed, keep us all breathing and alive and active as agents of the change so desperately needed, as aides in the healing process, and as willing participants in the necessary sacrifices required of us all.

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    As we breathe in the hope and anticipation of this new beginning, let us exhale and rid ourselves of the well-learned skepticism we hold for government and our leaders.
    As we breathe in our desire for affordable health care and living wages for all, let us exhale and rid ourselves of the sense of entitlement and selfish greed that consumes so much of how we live.
    As we breathe in and hold up this new First Family, let us exhale and rid ourselves of any too-high expectations we have for them to “fix” this country.
    As we inhale and realize our desire to know all about them and to watch them at all times, let us exhale, and respect their need for privacy, and grant them the gentle times of family togetherness.
    As we inhale and confess our expectation that this new President will be wise and powerful and able to live up to the promises of his campaign, let us, in our exhaling, come to understand that he will only be as wise and powerful as we allow him to be; that the only change that will happen is the change we all choose to make happen together.
    Indeed as we breathe in, recognizing that we are inspired and motivated by what we’ve heard from this elected one, let us also slowly breathe out and realize that what we have really heard is a voice being given to the stirring of our own hearts.

    Oh, it’s true, O God, we are on tiptoe…as expectant as anyone can be…praying that you might be able to create in our midst a new way of living that better honors your creation, that more fully respects your desire for community, that more urgently works for peace and justice for ALL.

    To that end, we dare ask that your hand of blessing be upon President Obama — chosen not for the color of his skin but for the content of his character — that he might guide and lead us in the ways You would have us go. Thru him and with him, make us all agents of good…in our homes, in our communities, in our country and in this world.
    Gracious God, for all the possibilities, promise and privilege of the freedom we enjoy and celebrate this day, we humbly offer our thanks, not only with our lips, but also with our lives.
    In earnest hope that a new day has indeed been inaugurated in our midst, we pray.

Amen.

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CARE TO READ MORE?

    STAY TUNED! Over the next two weeks, ReadTheSpirit will provide a series of soul-stirring stories as we approach the inauguration, including more of our daily Interfaith Heroes stories. As we approach Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s holiday, you’ll find fresh insights into the interfaith roots of America’s civil rights movement.
    VISIT MARSHA’S WEB SITE: Marsha is the senior pastor of a Newburg United Methodist Church in Livonia, Michigan.

    SHARE THIS PRAYER! We invite you to share this prayer as we approach
the inauguration. To do so, include the Rev. Marsha M. Woolley’s name
as author and a link back to https://readthespirit.com/

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    (Originally published at https://readthespirit.com/)

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