I had the privilege of offering the opening prayer/invocation at the Utah State Senate today. I think it went well. It’s an unique day that begins with a hug from the president of the Senate. Several people also followed me out and asked if they could make copies of the prayer for all the Senators. Then they had me sign it! I felt like I was being asked for my autograph.
Anyway, here is what I prayed:
Spirit of Life, Love and Justice, whom many call God,
We begin with gratitude:
Gratitude for this amazing day and this beautiful place in which we are blessed to live.
Gratitude for a good winter and the first signs of spring.
Gratitude for the people of this state and for the privilege of their trust, the clarity of their commitment to justice, to kindness, to integrity and to the common good.
Gratitude for those gathered in this place, ready to take on the daunting task of governance—to care for the people and the resources of this great state.
From this place of gratitude, may commitment spring:
Commitment to thoughtful, careful, and compassionate decisions that reflect one clear purpose–
to steward and care for the amazing beauty of this state,
especially the beauty of its people in all their wonderful diversity.
Let each of you here, entrusted with the privilege and responsibility of leadership,
be mindful of the needs not only of constituents, not only of the electorate, not only of the majority
but of “the least of these”–those whose voices will never be heard in this chamber,
who struggle to find the resources they need to survive,
who worship, or speak, or live in a way that might be unfamiliar.
Help each of us in this room see the beauty in that diversity and work and govern in a way that cherishes the common good.
From this place of gratitude and commitment, may this day’s work truly benefit the people of this state,
truly live up to the great gift of authority and trust given to each one here, not by God or divine right, but by the people.
May the decisions made in this chamber be motivated by the values that are the heart of what is great about this state we love–
kindness, justice, compassion, and wisdom.
May the debate in this chamber be accomplished with civility, respect for differences, and attention to the needs of the people and the common good.
May you who have taken on this formidable task be given patience, wisdom, and hearts and minds open to creative and equitable solutions.
May the tenor of this day’s discussions be one of respect for each other and for the people you govern.
On this amazing and beautiful day, may the work of this Senate truly be work of and by and for the people, and therefore may it be blessed.
In the name of all that is worthy of our respect, our reverence, and our gratitude we pray.
Amen. Ashé. And Blessed be.