On this Inauguration Day, I find myself humming the song Gather Us In by Marty Haugen. You can listen to the song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuLORIyEet4
As I listen, I find myself praying a prayer inspired by that song, and using many of the lyrics. I invite you to pray it with me. You can also use this as a pattern to write your own prayers from favorite poems, popular songs, scriptures or hymns.
Prayer for Inauguration Day and Every Day
(after Marty Haugen)
Holy Oneness, gather us in: the lost and forsaken, the blind and the lame, the young and the old, the rich and the haughty, the proud and the strong, the Democrats and the Republicans and advocates of other parties, the rich and the poor, and those of any skin color.
Starting with ourselves first: Call to us now and help us awaken, give us a meek and lowly heart, and give us the courage to enter into your prayer for the world. Call us anew each day that we may be salt for the earth. Give us the wine of compassion and the bread that is you; nourish us well, and teach us to fashion lives that are holy, and hearts that are true. Here in this place, this day.
Gather us in and hold us forever, gather us in and make us your own; gather us in — all peoples together. You are the fire of love in our flesh and our bone.
Gather us in. Help us to reach out to those we disagree with; help us to listen intently and look for common ground. We know that there can be no “love” without basic respect for the dignity of each human being, including those we vehemently disagree with. Help us to treat our enemies or opponents with dignity. Give us the courage to call out evil or injustice, but keep us from labeling and name calling. Remind us again and again of the worth of each person, and that we can condemn actions without condemning the person. Gather us in and teach us humility, compassion, and love. Gather us in, and teach us to fashion lives that are holy and hearts that are true. For your sake, and for our own. Amen.