Reflection: Obama’s First Hundred Days began with this Prayer

A Prayer for the Nation and Our Next President, Barack Obama 

By The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire

Opening Inaugural Event     Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC   

January 18, 2009

O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will…

Bless us with tears – for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.

Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Bless us with discomfort – at the easy, simplistic “answers” we’ve preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

Bless us with patience – and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be “fixed” anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

Bless us with humility – open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world.

Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance – replacing it with a genuine respect and  warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.

Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.

And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States.

Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for ALL the people.

Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.

Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.

Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

Give him the strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters’ childhoods.

And please, God, keep him safe.  We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we’re asking FAR too much of this one.  We know the risk he and his wife are taking for all of us, and we implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe.  Hold him in the palm of your hand – that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace.      AMEN

Wisdom from the Mary Poppins Movie

“Wanted a nanny for two adorable children

If you want this choice position
Have a cheery disposition
Rosy cheeks, no warts
Play games, all sorts

You must be kind, you must be witty
Very sweet and fairly pretty
Take us on outings, give us treats
Sing songs, bring sweets

Never be cross or cruel
Never give us Castor oil or gruel
Love us as a son and daughter
And never smell of barley water

If you won’t scold and dominate us
We will never give you cause to hate us
We won’t hide your spectacles, so you can’t see
Put toads in your bed or pepper in your tea

Hurry nanny, many thanks
Sincerely, Jane and Michael Banks”

Prayer for Pardon



  Prayer For One About To Approach Another For Pardon

By Edward Hays:  (This prayer has been adapted. The use of the singular was changed to the plural, and the masculine words for God were also changed, the word sinned was changed to made mistakes.)

Come, God of Healing and Unity,

we are in need of Your divine assistance.

We need to approach another

and to find a way to peace and understanding.

We are now separated,

and the canyon between us is painful and empty of You.

Help us to be honest as we seek reunion.

Open to our vision to the ways by which we have failed

and have been lacking in consideration.

Let our hearts be ready to see how we have made mistakes.

We will need Your help

so that we may move beyond our own feelings

to an awareness of the other who is also suffering.

You, Searcher of Hearts,

know how both of us in our own ways

are at fault.

Teach us to be humble

as we seek reunion.

Come and stand between us

so that all we say and do

will be filled with the sacred medicine of heaven.

Remind us how short our lives are

so that we will not delay this reunion of hearts.

Inspire us to see how this separation

can serve to bring us even closer together,

closer than we were before it happened.

Most of all, God of Compassion,

let us be servants of pardon,

ministers of reconciliation,

as we now pray for Your holy guidance.

(Pause for silent prayer)

God, Divine Parent,

make us as humble and healing as our mother the earth.

Make us as honest and defenseless as a child.

Make us as compassionate and loving as Your Son, Jesus.

And, God who is the Giver of True Strength,

 make us as forgiving as are You, Yourself.