INVOCATION BY PASTOR RICK WARREN:
Almighty God, Our Father, everything we see and everything we can't
see exists because of You alone. It all comes from You, it all belongs
to You, it all exists for Your glory. History is your story.
The Scripture tells us, 'Hear, oh Israel, the Lord is our God,
the Lord is one' and You are the compassionate and merciful one
and You are loving to everyone You have made.
Now today we rejoice not only in America's peaceful transfer of
power for the 43rd time, we celebrate a hinge-point of history with
the inauguration of our first African American president of the
United States. We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of
unequaled possibility, where a a son of an African Immigrant can
rise to the highest level of our leadership. And we know today that
Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven.
Give to our new president, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us
with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion
to lead us with generosity. Bless and protect him, his family, Vice
President Biden, the Cabinet and every one of our freely elected
Help us, oh God, to remember that we are Americans, united not
by race or religion or by blood, but by our commitment to freedom
and justice for all.
When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget
you, forgive us. When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity
is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human
beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive
And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth
of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility
in our approaches and civility in our attitudes-even when we differ.
Help us to share, to serve and to seek the common good of all.
May all people of good will today join together to work for a more
just, a healthier and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet.
And may we never forget that one day, all nations, all people will
stand accountable before You.
We now commit our new president and his wife Michelle and his daughters,
Malia and Sasha, into your loving care. I humbly ask this in the
name of the one who changed my life-Yeshua, Esa, Heyseus, Jesus--who
taught us to pray: Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy
name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into
temptation but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom and
the power and the glory forever. Amen.
SONG SUNG BY ARTHEA FRANKLIN
...... (the “Queen of Soul”):
My country ‘tis of thee
Sweet land of liberty
Of thee I sing
Land where my fathers died
Land of the pilgrim’s pride
From every mountainside
Let freedom ring!
Our Father God to Thee
Author of liberty
To Thee We Sing
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light
Protect us by Thy might
Great God our King!
BENEDICTION BY REV. JOSEPH LOWREY:
God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who hast
brought us thus far along the way, thou who hast by thy might led
us into the light,
keep us forever in the path we pray, lest our feet stray from the
places our God where we met thee, lest our hearts drunk with the
wine of the world we forget thee, shadowed beneath thy hand may
we forever stand true to thee O God and true to our native land.
We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we’ve shared
We pray now O Lord for your blessing upon thy servant Barak Obama,
44th President of these United States, his family and his administration.
He has come to this high office at a low moment in the national
and indeed the global fiscal climate. But because we know you’ve
got the whole world in your hands, we pray not only for our nation
but for the community of nations.
Our faith does not shrink though pressed by the flood of mortal
ills. For we know that Lord you’re able and you’re willing
to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our
brokenness, heal our wounds and deliver us from the exploitation
of the poor, of the least of these, and from favoritism toward the
rich, the elite of these.
We thank you for the empowering of thy servant, our 44th President,
to inspire our nation to believe that “Yes we can” work
together to achieve a more perfect union. And while we have sown
the wind of greed and corruption, and even as we reap the whirlwind
of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness. And we come
in the spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our
President, by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your
creation, to turn to each other and not on each other.
And now Lord in the complex arena of human relations, help us to
make choices on the side of love, not hate, on the side of inclusion,
not exclusion, tolerance, not intolerance.
And as we leave this mountaintop, help us to hold on to the spirit
fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power
back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our
mosques, wherever we seek Your will.
Bless President Barak, First Lady Michelle. Look over our little
angelic Sasha and Milia.
We go now to walk together as children, pledging that we won’t
get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave
us alone, with your hands of power and your heart of love.
Help us then now Lord to work for that day when nations shall not
lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors,
and every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine
and fig tree, and none shall be afraid—when justice will roll
down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.
Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest,
and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for
that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can
stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get
ahead man, and when white will embrace what is right. Let all those
who do justice and love mercy say Amen, say Amen, and Amen.