...I'm thinking ahead to Rick Warren's prayer at the inauguration — but that isn't the topic.So far, the first four respondents have answered separately. None of them has seen any of the others' submissions.
My request: would you send me, for publication, a draft of such a prayer you might pray, if had invited you to give the prayer at this particular inauguration?
Or if you would decline Obama's invitation, would you explain briefly why you would decline?
If you're too busy or don't find the idea appealing, that is of course absolutely fine.
I plan to publish each response as a standalone between now and the morning of the inauguration.
The first to provide me with his response was the amazing John Frame. To most of you, Professor Frame needs no introduction (if needed, see here, here, or here). I've become a real admirer of Professor Frame's, and have benefited greatly from his lectures and writing.
My favorite Framian anecdote so far comes from Tom Chantry, whose father visited Tom when he was a student at Westminster in Escondido. One of Chantry's roommates asked his father, “Were you in the same class as John Frame?” The senior Chantry paused a moment and responded, “No one was in the same class as John Frame.”
Here is Professor Frame's gracious response to my request.
I would accept the invitation only on the condition that I would pray in the name of Jesus Christ. If Mr. Obama accepted that condition, I would have to think long and prayerfully in preparation, which I cannot do now. But my current inclination would be to say something like this:
We pray to you our creator, the mighty king of kings and lord of lords, who governs all things that come to pass and rules over all the nations. You raise up rulers and cast them down at your own pleasure, in the pursuit of your just and merciful purposes. We thank you for the freedom we have to worship you, sought by the founders of this nation, freedom you have given to us through the righteous laws of this land. So we call on you to be with us again during this new era. Be with our new president and all the leaders of this country, that they may be willing to hear the wisdom of your word and thus may image your justice, mercy, and integrity in their public life. As the one who remains constant throughout history, and yet who ordains change from each moment to the next, move our leaders to know how to maintain the foundations of our nation, while changing to meet the demands of new situations. Be our rock, when so much is changing in our lives. We pray for those families whose loved ones have died in defense of our country, and we pray for the young men and women who continue to fight our battles, that they may be victorious, and that their efforts may bring about the fruit of peace. We pray for those who have experienced terrible losses through the changes in the economy, and we pray that the leaders of this nation may seek out the wisest ways of responding. Above all, pour out on this nation your Holy Spirit, that there will be revival in our land, that the hearts of many will be moved to seek you, and that they may find that new life you offer us of love, joy, and peace.
This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ,
Dr. John Frame
Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy
Reformed Theological Seminary
We're all grateful to Prof. Frame for taking the time to respond.
NOTE: Special Rule for all these posts: diss me as you see fit, but nobody disses my guests.