Today, I was asked to offer the opening prayer for the meeting of the City Council of the City of Savannah. Below is the manuscript for the prayer. I am grateful to Alderman Julian Miller for inviting me to pray with and for our city’s leaders.
Let us pray…
Holy God, we give you thanks for the opportunity and the responsibility of this gathering today to provide leadership and direction for the work of the city of Savannah. We give you thanks for each of the people here: those who cast votes, those who provide staff support, those who bring information and argue points before the Council, and those whose other interest in the work of this council has brought them here. We give you thanks for those who are confident in their roles here today, and we give you thanks, too, for those who are nervous and unsure if they even belong here. We give you thanks that you are here, too, as your presence fills your whole creation, pushing us all to do better than we have done before: to work harder, especially for those who are most vulnerable; to listen more closely, especially to those whose voices have been pushed aside; to show greater grace, especially for those who suffer the most; to seek greater wisdom, especially in these times of ego-driven ideologies and divisive rhetoric.
Pour out your Spirit upon our city, O God, and upon our leaders who are here today. By your Spirit, give us a vision for this city so we will lift up the poor, we will enfranchise the forgotten, and we will strengthen the victims and affirm the survivors. Give us vision for this city so neighbors here may empathize with neighbors and commit together to seek the common good. Give us vision for this city so we will seek our joy together and we will appreciate beauty together and we will foster learning together. Give us vision, O Lord, and strengthen us as fellow citizens, granting us the gifts of hope, of trust, of faithfulness, and of energy to orient our life together around your vision.
We pray in your holy name. Amen.