Mr. Speaker and esteemed representatives, I thank you for the opportunity to be present with you today as chaplain for the day. I want to thank my representative and good friend, the Honorable Al McAffrey for the invitation. I would also like to acknowledge guests who are present in the gallery – members of my congregation, the Cathedral of Hope, United Church of Christ. Joining them are dear friends, my wonderful parents, and my loving partner, Michael Cich.
Esteemed members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, will you please join me in prayer.
Holy and everliving God,
Compassionate and Merciful,
We, your servants, are listening.
We come before you today in a time of great anxiety and fear as financial institutions collapse, brave soldiers sacrifice on the fields of war, and families wonder how they will pay the bills.
Yet your prophet Isaiah has asked,
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
The Creator of the ends of the earth.
You do not faint or grow weary;
Your understanding is unsearchable.
You give power to the faint, and strengthen the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary,
And the young will fall exhausted;
But those who wait upon You shall renew their strength,
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Give us the courage to dream new dreams; to see new possibilities.
To look forward with hope, resting in your blessed covenant
That each day is a new day
That the heavens are ripped open
And your spirit is poured forth upon the earth
That a straight path might be made in the wilderness
And all your children will make it home.
So, today, with abiding faith and calm assurance
We invoke your presence on these precedings.
You are the Creator and Parent of us all.
In your divine majesty you have made us each and every one an image of you,
Our splendid diversity reflecting your infinite glories.
You are our Redeemer and Liberator.
Companion to the poor,
You have promised to
Lift up the powerless and cast down the powerful,
To gather the outcasts,
Heal the brokenhearted,
And bind up their wounds.
You have proclaimed release to the captives,
Recovery of sight to the blind,
And to let the oppressed go free.
You Sustain and Comfort us
Filling us with your Holy Spirit
And thereby uniting us with all creation in every time and place
A fellowship of solidarity
A beloved community
Reminding us that what we have done unto the least of us, we have done unto thee.
We call upon this good news
In this year of the Lord’s favor.
Might a few drops of Your favor fall upon us today
Giving these elected representatives of your people
Courage and wisdom
That they might be instruments of your peace
Sowing love where there is hatred,
Pardon, where there is injury,
Union, in place of discord,
Faith, instead doubt,
Hope, not despair,
Light to cast away the darkness
And where there is sadness, joy.
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with new life today.
We, your humble people, beseech thee.
And in all your many names, we pray.