Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Prayer On 9/11

Dear Lord,

Thank you.

Thank you for our lives.

Thank you for the privilege and blessing of being able to live in this country.

Thank you for the sacrifices our forbearers made to establish and preserve a representative form of government. Thank you for the abundant natural resources and natural beauty of our land. We live a life of relative bounty compared to our brothers and sisters around the world. We also have more input in the governing of our nation than most in human history. We thank you for our material blessings and our good fortune to not live in a nation of tyranny. We thank you for entrusting us with the responsibility of living in a democratic nation.

Lord, thank you also for the diversity of our people. Thank you for the various cultures that have made their home in this land. Thank you for the native peoples, the people who came here in hopes of creating a better life, and the people who were kidnapped and brutally forced to work the land to the enrichment of greedy men. I thank you for the sacrifices all of these people have made, the endurance they have shown, and the brilliant contributions they have made to create a country like no other in the world. When I have traveled in other countries I have been particularly cognizant of the richness our multicultural heritage has given us. We take it for granted when we see faces with different shades of melanin in a single family or in a school or a battalion of soldiers. We take it for granted when we hear different languages spoken in the same community. Jazz and Country & Western. Dim Sum and Creole. Ballet Folklorico and Clogging. Our diversity sets us apart from other natiosn and makes us infinitely richer. Thank you.

Lord, thank you for the people who lost their lives on 9/11. We thank you for the time they had on this earth, and we thank you for welcoming them with open arms to the eternal reward of being reunited with you. We thank you for their bravery and heroism. The firefighters who ran into burning buildings so that others might find safety. The police who tried to instill order when chaos reigned. The school teachers who guided their young students to safety, risking their own lives and bringing comfort to scared children’s hearts. The ordinary people on Flight 93 who stood up to violence and hatred, refusing to be victims and giving us all amazing examples of democracy and heroism. We thank you for the many less known acts of bravery and compassion in New York, the D.C. area, St. John’s and countless places across this land on 9/11 when our nation was in the chaos of a surprise attack and we weren’t sure where the next act of terrorism would occur. Thank you for the courageous voices after 9/11 who preached peace and counseled against pointless acts of violence as a response to the unspeakable evil we had encountered.

Thank you, Lord, for the wondrous plans you have for our nation and its people. I thank you for the courage, wisdom and guidance you bestow on us to carry out your plans. Help us to stay faithful to you and become the people that you intend. Help us to be good stewards of the riches you have entrusted.

In your name we pray. Amen



1 Chronicles 29:11-13

To you, LORD,
belong greatness and power,
honor, splendor, and majesty,
because everything in heaven
and on earth belongs to you.
Yours, LORD, is the kingship,
and you are honored as head of all.
You are the source of wealth and honor,
and you rule over all.
In your hand are strength and might,
and it is in your power to magnify
and strengthen all.
And now, our God, we thank you
and praise your glorious name.

Jeremiah 29:11

I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the LORD; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.

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