Saturday, July 26, 2008

Barak Obama's Prayer

Barak Obama visited Jerusalem this week and spent a few moments at the Western Wall. While there, he acted on a long-standing tradition and slipped a prayer inbetween the rocks in the wall. A reporter took note of the location and later retrieved and published the prayer. Here's what he said.

Lord — Protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair.
Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will,"

I'm not sure how Mr. Obama feels about his prayer being published and I tend to agree with the rabbi who said that prayer is between a man or woman and their maker. However, when I read the prayer, I wanted to publish it here for several reasons.

First of all, I like the way he begins. He recognizes God as LORD. He's not praying to the sun, moon, stars or wind, but to the LIVING GOD. Secondly, I'm inspired by his desire for protection for his family and himself. The LORD is our protector and defender and I'm glad that the man who could/would be the President of the United States recognizes he needs some help. I like how he asks for forgiveness. Who among us doesn't need it and even more significantly doesn't deserve it? Yet, he's willing to humbly ask and confess his need. The fantastic thing about forgiveness is that God only grants it to those humbly ask for it.

I like his recognition of the perils that come with pride (I need nothing and no one) and despair (the state of being overwhelmed by fear and anxiety) There's tremendous wisdom in that request because both are equally perilous in our lives and particularly in the life of a leader. In the next line he asks for wisdom, the very thing that God guarantees to grant to those who ask for it. I'm confident that God has already answered his request.

Finally, he seeks just to be an instrument of God's will. It reflects the heart of a servant but also the heart of someone who is living with purpose. My prayer for Mr. Obama (and for you) is that God would answer his requests fully and faithfully.

Aren't you glad his request wasn't 'Dear Lord, please let me beat John McCain...?"

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