Thursday, June 30, 2005

A prayer for America (invocation for the U.S. Senate on Sept. 29, 1993)

Several years ago I had the privilege of serving as "chaplain of the day" for the United States Senate. It seems appropriate to post this to my weblog as Independence Day approaches.

Prayer for the U.S. Senate.

September 29, 1993.

God of our fathers and mothers, God of our children and grandchildren, yours alike are the Rockies' proud peaks and Shenandoah's green tranquillity; yours are the span of the Golden Gate and the slums of Watts and Harlem.

Hear us as we pray for this land between the shining seas, this home of the pilgrims' pride, these United States of America.

We praise you for America's diverse quilt; for pilgrims from Europe and Africa, from Asia and Latin America, for Creek and Choctaw and Sioux and all our native peoples. Bind our ethnic strands together in a pattern of harmony, peace, and understanding.

Grant the women and men of this great assembly keenness and openness of mind; where vision is bound to personal gain or partisan good, liberate it. Stay their minds upon justice and their hearts upon compassion; may their ears be open to the voices of the voiceless and their eyes to the problems of the present and the possibilities of the future.

Grant that all the people of the United States may employ their hands and hearts and minds and bodies in work that satisfies and delights.

May peace unfold in freedom and justice, and may conflict issue in creative reconciliation.

And grant that in all things we raise our hearts and voices in gratitude to you, O judge of nations and peoples, for in your wisdom you have set us upon a strong and high place, given us peace and prosperity, and called us to walk confidently into the future.