As we are in transition in our government, we offer these prayers that have been lifted up through our presbyteries and congregations.
A Prayer for Inauguration Day, 2017 from the Presbytery of Philadelphia Leadership
On this Inauguration Day, as we witness the transfer of one administration to the next, we pray for our nation. We pray we might continue to be a nation led by the claims “In God We Trust” and “E Pluribus Unum (From Many, One).” May we stand alongside the nations of the world with a commitment to justice for all peoples and creation.
As a people of faith we call upon your Holy Spirit – your breath of heaven – to shape the heart and mind of our new President, Donald Trump. May it be your spirit that inspires and informs his deliberations and decisions. Grant him wisdom and courage. Grant him grace and love. We pray for his family as they also begin this new chapter in their lives.
We pray for a new administration. At a time when our nation seeks and needs a voice for unity and grace may your spirit of justice, righteousness, wisdom, and fairness shape the actions of this new administration.
We are grateful for all those preparing to serve our nation and for those who have served these last eight years. And so with gratitude, we pray for our outgoing President Barack Obama. We pray for his family – may they find a season of respite after a season of faithful service.
We also and especially pray for your Church. Empower us in these days to both speak and hear the truth in love: the truth of the loftiest hopes and deepest fears within our hearts; the truth of pain and puzzlement within us when we encounter our neighbors’ hopes and fears that seem so unlike our own. Touch us deeper than the hurt, so we might know the healing of true Justice and Peace found in Jesus Christ, which has shaped our witness from the beginning. May we, as people of faith, be ambassadors and partners for the hope of this gospel able to bring reconciliation in our nation and in the world, especially as we elevate the cause of the poor, oppressed, and others frequently relegated to the margins of society.
In gratitude for the gifts and commitment of others, remind us always of our common identity as sinners saved by Your grace. By that grace, embolden us to know the power of forgiveness given and received, even as we dedicate each of our lives – all that we are, have, and are called to be – for the purpose of making this land one that incarnates the values of your Kingdom.
In the name of Jesus, who is Lord of All, we pray. Amen.
Paoli Presbyterian Church (Presbytery of Donegal)
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of truth… Therefore, I want all people everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger and disputing.”
Timothy wrote this at a time when the Romans were in control.
We may not all agree but I want you to know I have prayed for all of you today.
Pastor Jeff Conway
Ivyland Presbyterian Church (Presbytery of Philadelphia)
A Prayer on Inauguration Day:
Holy God, today our country swears in new leadership. Change and transition are one constant in our world, and today, as we stand on the threshold between one administration and another, we seek your guidance.
For those who have served you faithfully as leaders of this country, we give you thanks. We give thanks for their wisdom and their service, we ask your forgiveness for their mistakes, for everything they did in seeking the best for our people. Be with them in their transition back into private life. Help them to continue to serve you as private citizens.
For the incoming administration, we pray for your guidance. Help our leaders to seek to be faithful to the needs of our country, to the people with whom we make our life. Help them to remember the poor, the sick, the suffering. Convict them by your wisdom. And, when they err, may we be faithful in guiding them towards what is right and holy and just, so that our nation might be made better for all.
And in this season of division, help us to listen to one another. Help us to seek one another out, to resist the urge to silo ourselves in an echo chamber of our own deeply held opinions. Help us to find common cause and fellowship with those with whom we disagree, to remember that we are all linked by our common humanity, that we are all brothers and sisters in the body of Christ.
By your Grace, O Lord, we pray. For us, for our country, for our world. This day and every day. Amen.
First Presbyterian Church of Strasburg (Presbytery of Donegal)
On this day of the inauguration some would see it as somewhat fitting that we hear a psalm of victory. We could focus on verse 7 which states that some place their trust in their military might, but we will take our stand on the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, I don’t want that last statement to come across as a reactionary fundamentalist approach which some may have that implies that all I care about is my relationship with Jesus and anything else is insignificant. I care about those things that Jesus cares about. What are those things?
Jesus speaks more about the kingdom of God than anything else and a close second is what we do with our finances. Look at Matthew 25:31-46 and you see what is important to our Savior: feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, showing hospitality to an immigrant or stranger, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, visiting those in prison. We can never imagine that all Jesus cares about is our relationship with him.
That is absolutely where it starts but many of us see that as the beginning and the ending. It is not, it is only a beginning. A relationship with Jesus needs to lead to action in Jesus’ name. When the psalmist prays for help from the Lord in the midst of his sanctuary, it is a legitimate cry for help that comes from a life lived where help has been needed. The prayer is that God would fulfill all of our plans. Once again, our plans ought to be the Lord’s plans. They should not diverge. What are the Lord’s plans? See above and Matthew 25 and repeat. It is not complicated at all. We should be able to see in this Psalm a simple assurance that is not quid pro quo (I follow God’s will and God will protect me). But rather just an assurance that God is absolutely going to protect us and keep us.