It is always an interesting experience to pray at the Kiwanis Club’s annual Mayor’s Community Prayer Breakfast in Nampa. This was I think my third time leading a prayer. Kudos to Doug Armstrong (former exec of KTVB and current Chaplain for the Idaho Senate) for a great keynote.
Thanks to my denomination’s hymnal, a good friend, one public official, and Martin Luther for helping me craft this “Prayer for Churches and Religious Freedom.” For readers not from Nampa, this event is more ecumenical than interfaith.
Let us Pray.
Gracious God, we give thanks for the many expressions of faith in Nampa and for gathering us together in this place this morning. We remember and praise you for the variety of ways communities of faith have worked together in the past and we pray for a continued spirit of collaboration and cooperation. Help us discern what it is we can do together that we cannot do on our own for the good of the community.
Loving God we pray for your holy church. Fill it with all truth and peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it; where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in need, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it.
Almighty God, we thank you for the religious freedom bestowed on all religious communities in this country. We give thanks that the interests of the state do not need to be served by our religious commitments. We ask for wisdom so that we are good stewards of this freedom. Let us never allow religious freedom to be an excuse to harm our neighbor.
For those who follow Jesus Christ, help us remember that our ultimate freedom lies in him. Keep us ever mindful that a “Christian is perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all,” [The Freedom of a Christian by Martin Luther].
You are love, God. Draw your church together, following Jesus Christ into every walk of life, together serving in Jesus’ mission to the world, and together witnessing to your love wherever you will send us. We pray with grateful hearts. Amen.