O God of endings & beginnings, grant to our nation this day your bountiful blessing. We claim no special favor as a country, for that is neither our right nor your way. But in this moment so ripe with change and possibility, we have need of your power and purpose.
As our new President and Vice President are inaugurated this day, we pray upon them your deep wisdom and daily guidance. Grant them the courage to confront the daunting demands of this moment. Lend them your fierce passion for what is right and true and just. Commission them to be healers among us, unafraid to touch our collective wounds and stitch us back together. Grant joy enough to make the most difficult days bearable. Summon from them their best gifts in humble service to a greater good. And protect them, O God, from every danger.
O God of Love and Justice, call upon each of us as well. Make us partners with our leaders and with you in creating Beloved Community. Move us to lock arms in common purpose. Spark within us a renewed hope & a deepened commitment to service. Soften our skepticism and bridge our divides. Compel us to seek earnestly together that “more perfect union” our founders dreamed of, for all your precious children.
Through your ancient prophets you called nations and peoples to faithfulness and mercy, justice and peace. Demand no less of us now, Enduring Presence, but send us forward to seek the future you would have us build. Hear our confessions of the sin our nation carries; free us from the selfishness and greed and hate and violence that consumes us. Refuse our useless cries that “we are better than this” and strengthen our resolve to actually be better now.
You are our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come. We trust in your abiding presence, and invite your transformation and renewal for our nation and each one who calls it home. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
Written by Reverend Shari Prestemon on the eve of the January 20, 2021 Inauguration of Joseph Biden & Kamala Harris as President and Vice President of the United States.