An Inaugural Prayer

Ahnnalise Stevens-Jennings

Holy God,

Help Us

Help us learn that we are our brother’s keeper.

Help us to know that we need each other.

That each one is connected to every other one. We need empathy. We need compassion. We need ears to hear, hearts to feel, and mouths to stop talking.

Break our pride, replace it with dedication to your Kingdom’s goal, that all will know you and none will want or cry.

As we face another political transition, we beg you, God, to grant our leaders:

Patience

A thirst for justice

The knowledge of the need for mercy

Charity

Grace

Humility

Kindness

Common Sense

And a heart that breaks for what breaks yours.

When they come up against people and traditions different from themselves, may they greet them with love and a spirit of openness, sharing, and acceptance.

May our new leaders keep our gospel close and may they learn to exemplify it in thought, word and deed.

May they be willing to confess, and may they do it often.

Grant them contrite hearts and the ability to lead always with care and never with vengeance or the quest for power.

For all the nation’s women, we pray for safe and affordable access to doctors specializing in women’s health who can help us gain and keep autonomy over our lives and our bodies.

For all the nation’s people of color, we pray for just laws, just policing, just sentencing, just treatment, equitable opportunities, our voices to be heard and our stories told.

For all the nation’s LGBTQ+ people, we pray for safety and protection for our families and ourselves, for acceptance and full inclusion in all aspects of society especially houses of worship.

For all the nation’s poor, we pray for a living wage, more equitable distribution of wealth, access to clean water, good food, safe homes and affordable health care.

For all the nation’s children, we pray for safe schools, good and well supported teachers, for the hope of a future where higher education is accessible to all, for their needs to be met, for them to live with positive role models who exemplify grace and justice.

For the nation’s members with disabilities and mental health concerns, we pray for a nation that includes you fully, respects you, and makes plenty of gracious space, for a nation where no one mocks you.

For all the refugees in this nation and around the world, we pray for your safety, for the safety of your homelands and loved ones that have been left behind, for you to be welcomed here with open arms.

For the nation’s Muslims, we pray that your faith will be met with respect and never fear or distrust.

For all the world outside of the United States, we pray that our nation’s new leaders will do you no harm and relate to you with justice.

Holy God, we lay our nation in your hands. Amen

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