What would you say?

Adam McHugh, author of a fantastic book called Introverts in the Church, just prayed in the House of Representatives in DC.

If you were asked to pray, what would you say — knowing they “vet” your prayer?

Gracious God, we acknowledge and praise you on this day that you have made.

We are reminded that all power and authority ultimately come from you. We do not wield our own power but we are stewards who have been entrusted with a greater power.

May the work that is done today in the halls of the powerful be done on behalf of the powerless. Would you open our ears to listen to the needs and the cries of those who are seldom heard. May the strong voices today speak out for the sake of those with no voice.

Would you grant our leaders courage and wisdom to do what is right, and would you pour out on them a spirit of peace, love, kindness, and gentleness.

Amen.

 

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Pat Pope

    Was this Adam’s prayer or what you would pray if asked, Scot?

  • Pat Pope

    I think what is written above covers it well, particularly the part about working on the behalf of others. That is, after all, why they should be there and a reminder during this election season is not bad.

  • Clay Knick

    Beautiful! Nicely done.

  • Richard

    Maybe a little more evocation of Amos 5 but what was given was well written as it stands.

  • http://LostCodex.com DRT

    My first response to this was that I did not like the approach. But when I tried to craft a better one, the only difference for me was in the order of the last two paragraphs.

    I would have softened the lecture a bit by first doing the last paragraph

    Would you grant our leaders courage and wisdom to do what is right, and would you pour out on them a spirit of peace, love, kindness, and gentleness.

    and then the other to refine what wisdom and right is like:

    May the work that is done today in the halls of the powerful be done on behalf of the powerless. Would you open our ears to listen to the needs and the cries of those who are seldom heard. May the strong voices today speak out for the sake of those with no voice.

    It is the right message.

  • http://learningtomove.blogspot.com Erin

    I will adopt this prayer as I pray for our leaders.

  • DLS

    The work that is done in Congress should not be done exclusively for or on behalf of “the powerless”. The work should be done on behalf of all Americans, and in those circumstances where the right thing benefits ‘the powerful’, that’s what should be done.

  • Ron Schooler

    The Problem, DLS #7, is that there seems to be an assumption by many in power that what benefits the powerful also benefits all others. I think a lot of history tells us otherwise.

  • Dan Arnold

    Maybe it’s my Baptist and Anabaptist leanings, but in the highly unlikely event I were asked, I’m not sure that I would pray in the House of Representatives. I wonder if it gives an implicit theological endorsement to the powers of this world; powers that I think the Gospel explicitly repudiates.

    DLS, while I may half agree that the work of Government should not be “exclusively for or on behalf of ‘the powerless’” (note the word “exclusively is not in the original prayer), would you not agree that the so-called powerless should at least be a consideration? The “right thing” gets pretty murky a lot of times, with policies that are the right thing for one constituency often being a very bad thing for another.

  • Joe Canner

    Post Citizens United, pretty much everybody counts as powerless except for those who can donate a couple hundred thousand or more.

  • http://leadme.org Cal

    Dan I hear you. I have similar anabaptist leanings.

    If it were me, I’d have taken John the Baptist’s approach:

    “Repent, the Kingdom of God is near!”

  • DLS

    Though I disagree, those are perfectly legitimate arguments, #8 and #9. I’m simply taking issue with the claim that Congress should always default to what’s in the best interests of ‘the powerless’. I think that’s a terrible way to govern a free Republic. In that respect I believe that the prayer was shortsighted and primarily an emotional appeal not supported by reason and logic.

  • MatthewS

    I think he prayed 5 gallons of truth with 1 gallon of words


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