The Inauguration Prayer

Rick Warren has taken a big risk by agreeing to give a prayer at the inauguration of President Obama.  I hope that he represents the Christian faith in its uniqueness and integrity and offers a prayer that will be genuinely pleasing to God, even if that means it may not be pleasing to some sectors of our society.

Dan Phillips of Team Pyro has invited several well-known, faithful Christian leaders to weigh in on the question of whether they would pray in this context and, if so, what they would say.  Thabiti Anyabwile’s response may be found here, and John Frame’s response here.  Here is what Frame said:

Dear Dan,

I would accept the invitation only on the condition that I would pray in the name of Jesus Christ. If Mr. Obama accepted that condition, I would have to think long and prayerfully in preparation, which I cannot do now. But my current inclination would be to say something like this:

We pray to you our creator, the mighty king of kings and lord of lords, who governs all things that come to pass and rules over all the nations. You raise up rulers and cast them down at your own pleasure, in the pursuit of your just and merciful purposes. We thank you for the freedom we have to worship you, sought by the founders of this nation, freedom you have given to us through the righteous laws of this land. So we call on you to be with us again during this new era. Be with our new president and all the leaders of this country, that they may be willing to hear the wisdom of your word and thus may image your justice, mercy, and integrity in their public life. As the one who remains constant throughout history, and yet who ordains change from each moment to the next, move our leaders to know how to maintain the foundations of our nation, while changing to meet the demands of new situations. Be our rock, when so much is changing in our lives. We pray for those families whose loved ones have died in defense of our country, and we pray for the young men and women who continue to fight our battles, that they may be victorious, and that their efforts may bring about the fruit of peace. We pray for those who have experienced terrible losses through the changes in the economy, and we pray that the leaders of this nation may seek out the wisest ways of responding. Above all, pour out on this nation your Holy Spirit, that there will be revival in our land, that the hearts of many will be moved to seek you, and that they may find that new life you offer us of love, joy, and peace.

This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ,

AMEN

Dr. John Frame
Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy
Reformed Theological Seminary

I would very much like to hear a prayer like this delivered at the inauguration of a President.  It may sound odd, but I think we should be in prayer about the prayer, namely, that Pastor Warren would have the leading of the Spirit to take part in this very public event in a way that will bring glory to God.

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