On Nov. 6, Americans went to the polls and voted for a variety of public officials including a president, members of Congress, governors, mayors and city council members.
We asked Central Kentucky faith leaders for a prayer for our newly elected officials and our country to be used following the election. Here's a sampling of their prayers.
Myron Williams, global outreach development pastor, Southland Christian Church, Lexington: God almighty, you who created things in Heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through you and for you. In you, all leaders — presidents, prime ministers, even dictators — are in their roles because of your order.
You remind us to be obedient to rulers and authorities, and sometimes it seems like we do not agree with them. However, we are still called to obedience until there is conflict between your call on our lives and the government's call on our lives. Remind us that disagreement is not always conflict of world views. Grant us wisdom to know how best to work with our city, county, state and national leaders for your glory and honor.
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Be with the leaders at all levels of our country. May your spirit give them your heart for justice and mercy for the people of our world. Grant them wisdom to know all power comes from you, and so the need to seek you daily as they lead. Instill in them the humility you showed in Jesus' life.
May we live daily as obedient citizens, ever pointing out that our trust is not in government leaders nor in armed forces, but our trust is in your name.
In your name we come humbly as children. Amen.
The Rev. Kory Wilcoxson, Crestwood Christian Church, Lexington: God of each of us and God of all of us, we trust that you are present with the leaders of our country as they go about their important work. We pray they use the gifts, talents and intelligence you have given them to faithfully weigh courses of actions and make decisions. Because they are humans, Lord, be as patient with them as we would want you to be with us. Help us as a nation be supportive of our leaders, drawing strength from what unites us instead of dwelling on what divides us. May we always seek the greater good and the well-being of others through our words and actions. Help us to witness to your love by continuing to love our neighbor, especially the ones who had the other candidate's yard sign on their lawn. And, as always, may your will be done here on earth. Amen.
Elda Dede, Lexington Baha'i Community: Thou kind Lord! This gathering is turning to thee. These hearts are radiant with thy love. These minds and spirits are exhilarated by the message of thy glad-tidings. O God! Let this American democracy become glorious in spiritual degrees even as it has aspired to material degrees, and render this just government victorious. Confirm this revered nation to upraise the standard of the oneness of humanity, to promulgate the most great peace, to become thereby most glorious and praiseworthy among all the nations of the world. O God! This American nation is worthy of thy favors and is deserving of thy mercy. Make it precious and near to thee through thy bounty and bestowal.'Abdu'l-Bahá.
Father Dale White, St. Luke Anglican Church: Omniscient Father in Heaven, we give thanks that you have brought us through another election in our country. We pray you would fill all those in leadership roles with your compassion, wisdom, and resolve to make sacrifices, and right decisions for the common good of man. Let our leaders be guided by your holy spirit, and not by selfish ambition, pride, or greed. Give them grace and humility, yet strength of character, and commitment to promote your will throughout the world. May they ever be aware that you are our creator, our savior, and our redeemer; and without you no real peace, no real joy, and no true victory is achievable. Change our hearts, O God, and make us better people. Amen.
Father Jim W. Sichko, St. Mark Catholic Church, Richmond: Gracious God, we, the people of these United States, pray for unity, peace and the prosperity that, we recognize, must come from your guiding hand.
Bless those elected to public office. Grace the leaders of our nation with compassion for those who face challenges, justice for those who long for liberation, and a spirit of respect for life, the dignity of each person, and the common good.
In our diversity, open our eyes to see our unity: one nation, always cognizant that we exist under one God known in a plethora of ways and by myriad names.
As a new day dawns for our nation, give us a spirit of hope to work together for good, a spirit of cooperation to move beyond lines drawn by affiliation or particular interest; make us a people united in a common humanity which looks to You, God of Abraham and God of our forebears, for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
In you, O God, we trust and in you, though many, we are one. Amen.
Rabbi Marc Kline, Temple Adath Israel: We have exercised our rights in this blessed country, and selected our next slate of leaders. What matters most is not who won or lost, but how we, as a nation, can find a way to keep enthusiasm behind the talents of those expressed a life altering willingness to serve, whether they won or lost. We need to bring America together, celebrating all who put themselves out trying to find new ways to serve our country. Certainly, despite the rhetoric that makes for an ugly campaign, no one has ever gotten healthier committing their life to public service. People want to serve, and even where we disagree, we need to respect their effort and commitment. In this spirit, and with this appreciation, we invoke the creator and sustainer of all life to continue to provide a global vision to all our leaders, helping them govern with wisdom and accountability. May we have the strength of character to support them, to challenge them, and to respect them and their commitment to serve us. Eternal source of all that is holy, help us see the path to healing our nation; the path to ensuring the dignity of all who live amongst us, that our light might shine ever more brightly as a beacon of hope for those who are oppressed in the world. As one people who need to know that we do beat with one heart, we want hope for our future, blessings for our families, and peace for our world. May our leaders have the vision to help us make this prayer real.
The Rev. Chuck Queen, senior pastor, Immanuel Baptist Church, Frankfort: My good and gracious God, I remind myself that you do not determine elections. Your way is not to coerce, control, or manipulate outcomes.
Your way is to woo, draw, and persuade by means of your magnanimous love.
You have given us great freedom — freedom to do good or evil, to stand up for what is just and merciful, or to be caught up in what is unjust and self-serving
Forgive us for our pride and selfish ambition. There has been too much talk about the middle-class, and not enough talk about the under-class, the disenfranchised, the marginalized, the truly vulnerable ones among us. These are the ones that occupied most of Jesus' time and attention. For Jesus said he had come to preach good news to the poor and set the oppressed free.
Forgive us for all the money we have invested in demeaning those of a different political party and ideology, when that money could have lifted thousands out of poverty.
Give us a vision of a world made whole. A world of distributive and restorative justice, where everyone has not just enough to survive, but to thrive.
A world where everyone—regardless of one's position or place, ethnicity or sexual orientation or religious persuasion—is regarded as a daughter and son of God. A world where everyone has access to adequate health care and all people are treated with dignity and respect.
A world where our differences are celebrated and diversity becomes the means for unity.
We are a flawed people in much need of your grace. Show us the way forward, through the issues and controversies that divide and alienate us from one another.
Open our eyes that we may see truth wherever truth can be found.
Open our ears that we may hear your voice softly whispering our names.
And give us the courage, wisdom, discernment, and will to do what is right, to practice grace, and walk humbly, honestly, and compassionately with all our sisters and brothers who are loved by you with an eternal love. Amen.
Ernie Heavin, Oasis Church of Christ, Georgetown: Restore us again, revive us once more, the God of our salvation.
Acknowledge that he is the most high God, our hope and our preservation.
If only our ways are committed to you, we would bear no guilt or shame.
Let us listen to hear, what he will speak, in whose comfort we take in his name.
Our currency proclaims, "In God We Trust" yet we live with greed and in fear. May this hypnotic power be broken in two, your path for us be abundantly clear. Our enemy is one that cannot be seen, their goal is to terrorize our nation.
Protect us O God, rise up and defend, the creator and God of salvation.
Leaders be aware that you are not god, it is he who placed you in position.
So be still and know that he is the Lord, the God of this great nation. Let us lift up our voice in moments of despair and in times of great celebration.
Give us a heart that is responsive to you, in service and in complete dedication.
If we are hard pressed, we will not be crushed, if perplexed we will not fall into despair. If struck down we will not be destroyed, not under Your guidance and care. May our thoughts be Your thoughts and our ways be Your ways, our nation be one in accord.
Be wise all you leaders, be prudent you people, a nation who takes refuge in the Lord. Amen
The Rev. Rachael Brooks, New Hope Church (Independent Presbyterian): Gracious God in Heaven we ask that you will please help the United States of America. Help us to turn our eyes to you and open our hearts to your purpose and will. Let this country grow in faith and let us be a light in a dark, hard world.
You judge all people based on their faith and you expect people of faith to care for the weakest members of society. Help us to remember this and live as real disciples caring for and protecting the tiny, the old and the marginalized. Help us to see your image in others, to turn our faces to you, and to carry your principles of love, justice and truth forward in our secular policies and laws. Help us to see your hand in the events of history and help us to accept your will. Amen.