Thursday, August 28, 2008

YouTube Thursday: Blue Like the DNC

Cribbing a bit from my buddy Adam, whose staying in our basement this week (and getting better and better at Guitar Hero), here is the prayer that Donald Miller author of Blue Like Jazz prayed at the Democratic National Convention on Monday night.



And here's the text of it:

"Father God,

This week, as the world looks on, help the leaders in this room create a civil dialogue about our future.

We need you, God, as individuals and also as a nation.

We need you to protect us from our enemies, but also from ourselves, because we are easily tempted toward apathy.

Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left.

Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them.

Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.

Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.

Hep us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education.

Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony.

We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there. We need your help.

Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world.

A lot of people don’t like us but that’s because they don’t know the heart of the average American.

Will you give us favor and forgiveness, along with our allies around the world.

Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.

Lastly, father, unify us.

Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common.

And unify us not just in our ideas and in our sentiments—but in our actions, as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater than the one we have come to cherish.

God we know that you are good.

Thank you for blessing us in so many ways as Americans.

I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.

Let Him be our example.

Amen."

As you might imagine, this prayer has not made many people happy: ranging from political conservatives to Reform thinkers (Calvinists). Political conservatives are decrying his promotion of liberal programs. Reform thinkers think that he downplayed the true meaning of Jesus and could have spent his time better telling people about the atonement and their own fallen nature and need for Jesus.

What do you think?

12 comments:

judy thomas said...

Miller has really cleaned himself since we saw him at Otter--maturing, I guess. Well, he could have been reading from the Democratic Party Platform, but I could say AMen to everything he said. So glad they invited a man who worships God to do the prayer.

judy thomas said...

That's cleaned himself up!

Ben said...

I was once challenged to spend a year praying for others instead of myself. It's hard, but when I do, I feel better than just praying for myself. Hearing this made me wonder what might happen if Americans began praying for other countries rather than just our own. That's what I thought...

TCS said...

given his email dialog with the obamas that he sent me this morning...I would say it was pretty good. BTW he replaced the publisher or Relevant Magazine, who first accepted then declined as he didn't want to seem to promote one candidate over another

Red_Cleric said...

I like it. I could pray that in a secular setting without hesitation. As a member of LION'S club we're NOT suppose to pray in the name of Jesus. Even Chaplains in the US Military have fallen on hard times for being overzealous.

In particular I love the end. He doesn't assume anyone there is praying this to the God of Heaven and Earth, but he is. I also want to say that it takes guts at the DNC to refer to God as Father....

Alan

Chris said...

Dear God,

Please, deliver us from a President like Barack Obama. I know we sin daily but please forgive us and deliver us from this man.

He has no experience except a short stint as a Senator who has done nothing. He has no proven leadership ability. He has had a hate mongering, racist, anti-American pastor for 20 years and has associated with extremist radicals and shady characters for decades. His solution for every problem is a government handout paid by unAmerican soak the "rich" tax increases. He uses divisive racist and socialist economic class warfare tactics. He ignores the fact that everything except Iraq has gotten worse in America since the Democrats took over Congress with their pacifist/socialist agenda and Iraq has improved in spite of the Democrats, not because of them. He talks about uniting America even though he is an extremist liberal who has never walked the walk of achieving bipartisn consensus on anything.

Dear God, I could go on but you know everything. Please don't let this man become our leader.

Amen

Phil said...

Thanks for dropping by, Chris. I wasn't sure if you had much left to say outside of what you said on Adam's blog.

My personal prayer is that, no matter who is the president, that God's will will continue to be done on earth as it is in heaven. And if that will could be done in the midst of one of the most oppressive forces ever in the Roman Empire, then it will be done no matter who runs this country.

You know the other thing? I remember hearing from a lot of people the same things about Bill Clinton before he became president, and somehow the country managed to survive and even thrive.

I don't love either Obama or McCain as candidates. I find things I like about both of them and things I dislike. But I trust God and I will seek to follow Jesus no matter the circumstances around me.

Cory said...

Donald Miller is one of my favorite authors right now (and for the past few years). I love his Keep-It-Simple take on life while acknowledging the complexity thereof.
I liked that he prayed for the both the Republicans and the Democrats. I definitely agree with Alan's comment and most of what Judy said, but what exactly did she mean when she said Donald Miller was "clean"? (that was a joke)

Jeff said...

I agree with all he says, except I question why must we rely on the U.S. government to be the entity on this earth that is trying to bring about all the kingdom activities that he mentions? I have a distrust that the government can achieve more efficiently what the church should be about when it comes to social programs, etc. The obvious problem and question is whether the church is doing what it should be doing. If so, would we even be having the discussion? Maybe someday Phil you'll let me be a guest blogger so I can give my answers for fiscal policy.

I'd be interested in a comparison between this benediction and the prayers during the Republican convention from the "real" Christians. (heavy sarcasm) I'm sure you can help accomodate us on that, Phil.

Chris said...

Obama is to the left of Bernie Sanders, Socialist senator from Vermont. Does that tell you anything?

Anonymous said...

New poster here. Hello all.

I don't think that there should have been a prayer at all. Our government was designed to be secular, not religious.

Politicians know that the government is a secular institution, of course. However, being politicians, they do things like this to appeal to the emotions of the citizens. Should I repeat that they are all politicians?

I would also point out that Miller's speech was most assuredly co-written by Obama's speech writer. Remember, they're politicians.

That being said, I am an Obama supporter. He provides the best hope for the future of the U.S. He will do more in ridding our addiction to fossil fuels which, in turn, will create new industries and reduce our involvement in Middle Eastern affairs. The world will be a better place in 10 years if Obama becomes president.

Pete

judy thomas said...

Ah, Pete,

While Miller's prayere may have been okayed by Obama's speech writers. Miller is an excellent writer who does well enough on his own. And by clean, I mean shirt and tie with shirt in, combed hair, and I'll bet he had shoes on instead of flip-flops.

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