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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Prayer of Rick Warren and Seeing the Glory of God Our Redeemer in the Inauguration of President Obama


2 Timothy 2:1-6 “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”

What a powerful experience it was to join Pastor Rick Warren and God’s children around the world in praying for our new president and his beautiful family today! This is not about political affiliation. This is about 1 Timothy 1:1-6, which directs us to pray for our leaders in such a way that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way, giving honor to our Merciful God who desires that all people be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth! What a glorious and good God we serve! I also see the glory of His redeeming power at work in raising up an African American leader in a country with a history of abhorrent treatment toward African Americans. While we are not yet what we should be, God is moving and has moved. Today is a small reminder that our God is in the business of redemption, and it is a tiny taste of the glorious redemption that our Lord will bring us into fully one day! Praise be to our God!

Here is the text of Rick Warren’s inaugural prayer that I prayed with him with tears on this historic day, January 20, 2009:

Almighty God, our Father, everything we see and everything we can’t see exists because of you alone. It all comes from you, it all belongs to you, it all exists for your glory. History is your story. The Scripture tells us, ‘Hear, oh Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one’ and you are the compassionate and merciful one and you are loving to everyone you have made.
Now today we rejoice not only in America’s peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time, we celebrate a hinge-point of history with the inauguration of our first African American President of the United States. We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility, where the son of an African Immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership. And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven.

Give to our new president, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity. Bless and protect him, his family, Vice President Biden, the Cabinet and every one of our freely elected leaders.
Help us, oh God, to remember that we are Americans, united not by race or religion or by blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all. When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you, forgive us.

When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us. And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches and civility in our attitudes—even when we differ.

Help us to share, to serve, and to seek the common good of all. May all people of good will today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy, and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet. And may we never forget that one day, all nations, all people will stand accountable before You. We now commit our new president and his wife, Michelle, and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, into your loving care.

I humbly ask this in the name of the One who changed my life—Yeshua, Esa, Jesus, Jesus—who taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be they name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

6 comments:

Rachel said...

Bina,

I don't always comment but I am thankful for your blog and your willingness to share.

Emmanuel said...

That is wonderful Bina! I actually missed Pastor Warren's prayer. Thank you for posting that awesome prayer and praying for our President!

By any chance do you know if he read the prayer or not? Just curious...

Bina H. Ellefsen said...

Thanks, guys. Rick Warren read it right before President Obama was sworn in. It was very cool.

The McFarlane Family said...

Thanks! We missed the prayer so we loved reading it on your blog.

Judy said...

Thanks for the transcript. I caught Obama's speech, but missed this part. What a lovely prayer in the middle of the Inaugural celebration! I have to add how much I love reading your blog as well. Thanks again!

Nora said...

Good stuff. Thanks for posting this Bina!