As I watched all the events of Inauguration Day on January 20th, I took many photos off the TV. LOL! Some of my favorite ones are of people in prayer. I heard four people pray that day.
I listened as Rick Warren (a FANTASTIC CHOICE!) prayed, " ... We celebrate a hingepoint of history with the inauguration of our first African American president of the United States. ... And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven. ... When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us. ... I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus [Spanish pronunciation], Jesus, who taught us to pray ... (he then lead the crowd saying the Lord's Prayer).
Civil rights leader Joseph E. Lowery’s benediction was wonderful! He was the PERFECT CHOICE. He spoke, " ... When justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream. ... We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to give back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right. ... Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen. (And the crowd responded with, "AMEN!")
I do not know the names of the two men who prayed at the lunch later. The (priest?) with the gray hair and collar had a style of prayer that I do not personally prefer. He read his prayer and repeatedly look out on his audience. Looked at notes, looked at audience. It was as if his prayer were a sermon to the crowd gathered, and not his heart's feelings spoken to God. So, the style was UGH to me.
I am a huge believer in affirmative prayer. I love to hear people's heart-felt words of love, thanks, hope, belief, kindness and action to God.
Any prayer that evangelizes, judges, excludes, is filled with hate or fear or negative consequence turns me completely cold.
I have read and heard so many people speak of "praying for President Obama." My own prayer is that all these prayers be filled with love, hope, belief, kindness, thankfulness, and support.
America may have never needed solidarity more than we need it THIS day.
Let us pray.