Beliefnet
Rev. Luis Leon is rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.

Let us pray.

Most gracious and eternal God, we gather here today as a grateful people who enjoy the many blessings you have bestowed on this nation. We are grateful for your vision, which inspired the founders of our nation to create this democratic experiment as one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

We are grateful to you that you have brought to these shores a multitude of peoples of many ethnic, religious and language backgrounds and yet have fashioned one nation out of so many cultures and traditions.

Even as we celebrate our -- this great moment, we remember before you the members of our armed forces. We commend them to your care. Give them courage to carry out their duties and courage the face the perils which we set them, and grant them always the sense of your presence in all that they do.

Finally today, we are especially grateful for this inauguration, which marks a new beginning in our journey as a people and a nation. We pray that you will shower the elected leaders of this land and especially, George, our president, and Richard, our vice president, with your life giving spirit.

Fill them with a love of truth and righteousness that they may serve you and this nation ably and glad to do your will. Endow their hearts with your spirit of wisdom that they may lead us in renewing the ties of mutual respect which form our civic life, so that peace may prevail with righteousness and justice with order.

We pray that you will strengthen their resolve as they lead our nation seeking to serve you in this world, that this good and generous country may be a blessing to the nations of the world.

And may they lead us to become, in the words of Martin Luther King, members of a beloved community, loving our neighbors as ourselves so that all of us may more closely come to fulfill the promise of our Founding Fathers, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

All this we ask in your most holy name, amen.

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