Many of you listened to the prayer as C-SPAN broadcast me delivering it, and have responded by sending me emails and letters. Perhaps you would like to give me your thoughts on the contents of the prayer.
We are a nation that needs healing. Break down the barriers of race and ethnicity that separate us. Cure the sexism and homophobia that denies the dignity of so many of our fellow Americans. Help us to overcome our fears of refugees and show us how to love our enemies and overcome evil with good. Imbue our religious leaders with your love so that they will teach us how to transcend our differences and become one people.
Teach us how to beat our swords into plowshares and learn war no more.
We pray that the next president of our country will sense the obligation to reach out with our vast resources to minister to those who You called, “the least of these,” not only here in America but to needy people around the world.
May all of our political leaders be committed to making America into a people that strive to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, provide care for all the sick, speak justice on behalf of the oppressed, and make room for refugees, remembering Your own Son who was once a refugee in the land of Egypt.
On this memorable night, we pray for Hillary Clinton. May her candidacy send a message to women everywhere that the glass ceiling that has held so many of them down is being broken, and that a new day is dawning not only for women but for all people everywhere.
We ask all these things in Your holy name.
Jesus was quite specific about what we should do to prepare for intimacy with God; how we should pray, and what to expect to happen because of our prayers.
Here are some things I will address:
- When Jesus told us that when we pray we should, “go into a closet and shut the door,” He was telling us that prayer should be a time and place when we shut out the extraneous things in the world and be totally focused on Him.
- That prayer should be a time of surrendering to Him, and in stillness allowing His spirit to invade our hearts and minds.
- That prayer should be a time of “cleansing.” This happens when we name those dark things in our lives and allow Him to reach across time and space to connect with us and absorb those dark things into Himself.
- That prayer should be preparation for action. We should come away from praying empowered to do His work in the world. Prayer should motivate us to share the gospel with others and to work to end sexism, militarism, homophobia, racism, and economic injustice. When Jesus prayed it resulted in action, and it should do the same for us.