Franklin Graham's Prayer of Invocation
Inauguration of President George W. Bush
Saturday, January 20, 2001
Let us pray.
Blessed are You, O Lord, our God. Yours, O God, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom. You're exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from You. You are the ruler of all things. In Your hands are strength and power to exalt and to give strength to all. As President Lincoln once said, "We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown, but we have forgotten God. It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended powers, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness."
O Lord, as we come together on this historic and solemn occasion to inaugurate once again a president and vice president, teach us afresh that power, wisdom and salvation come only from Your hand. We pray, O Lord, for President-elect George W. Bush and Vice President-elect Richard B. Cheney, to whom You have entrusted leadership of this nation at this moment in history. We pray that You'll help them bring our country together so that we may rise above partisan politics and seek the larger vision of Your will for our nation.
Use them to bring reconciliation between the races, healing to political wounds, that we may truly become one nation under God. Give our new president, and all who advise him, calmness in the face of storms, encouragement in the face of frustration, and humility in the face of success. Give them the wisdom to know and to do what is right, and the courage to say no to all that is contrary to Your statutes of holy law.
Lord, we pray for their families, and especially their wives, Laura Bush and Lynne Cheney, that they may sense Your presence and know Your love. Today, we entrust to You President and Senator Clinton, and Vice President and Mrs. Gore. Lead them as they journey through new doors of opportunity to serve others.
Now, O Lord, we dedicate this presidential inaugural ceremony to You. May this be the beginning of a new dawn for America as we humble ourselves before You and acknowledge You alone as our Lord, our Savior and our Redeemer. We pray this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
NOTE: As might be expected, Franklin Graham's prayer aroused the wrath of a number of persons, including Alan Dershowitz, one of the "whiz" lawyers who defended O.J. Simpson. Mr. Dershowitz is a Jew, but not one who is an asset to his people in that he professes that he's not sure whether there is a God or not! This came out in a debate late last year with Alan Keyes on the issue of whether organized religion is of any benefit to our nation and whether it can contribute in a positive way to our society. Dershowitz was given high profile coverage in an editorial in which he ripped into Franklin Graham's prayer and the fact that it excluded a lot of people because of the mention of Jesus!