Friday, July 01, 2016

a prayer for new leaders

Today the city of Natchez inaugurated a new mayor and swore in several other newly-elected officials, and I had the privilege of offering the inaugural prayer at the ceremony. Here is the prayer I led for the new leaders of our city, and I hope you will pray for our community and leaders as well:

Gracious God,
We call on you at this moment of transition, at this new beginning, to seek your guidance for our leaders and your blessing and healing for our community. We particularly ask that you would grant your son, our new mayor Darryl Grennell, all the wisdom, humility, the energy, insight, and support that he needs for the tasks ahead. Surround him with the multitude of counselors that will establish his vision for our city (Pro 15:22). May the words and example of the Lord Jesus always guide and inspire him, and all of our leadership, in their work. Help us all--those who lead, those who protect and serve, who minister or teach, store-owners, employees, parents, those just trying to get by, librarians, nurses, retirees, black and white--help us all to hear and respond to the call of the prophet Jeremiah to seek the welfare of the city, for in its welfare we find our own (Jer 29:7). Give us grace to labor together for a new Natchez: a city where people don’t have to leave town to find work; where our schools are renowned as centers of learning and growth; where no one has to worry about being shot and killed in the night; a place of blessing to the young and the vulnerable and the needy. Lord, protect our hearts from distrust, apathy, anger and bitterness, prejudice, fear—all of the things that can poison a community. Keep us safe from those traps (Ps 141:9), so that we may seek a better future together. May Darryl recognize the way forward and, with your help, blaze a trail into that future. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit we ask all of these things. Amen.

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