As it turns out, I will not be offering the invocation before the Michigan State Senate tomorrow. I had to bow out. I did what I could with all involved to negotiate the wording of the prayer. I presented three different versions, in fact. But alas, far too much was deemed by Senate rules—well, actually more like subjective suggestions—as politically off-limits. I cannot speak to things such as abortion, Natural Law, traditional marriage, and ultimately, religious liberty. I can’t say anything that might offend other faiths or ideologies. Instead, I can speak encouragement and praise for the body–sort of a “Great job, guys!” while giving plenty of room for the impression and possibility that everyone’s truths—and the gods from which they come—are of equal value.
I’ve shared below what I intended to say. I don’t think it’s all that corrosive.
Of course, if you have the time, perhaps you might pray it on your own.
By the way, when I got tired of trying to shapeshift this prayer, I ended up hopping on the treadmill and writing a satirical one. Looking back, I’m starting to think that had I submitted it, it might have been doable. That prayer is shared at this link: https://www.facebook.com/notes/christopher-thoma/o-god-of-the-senate/10157775729255629/
In the name of the Father and of the (+) Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Almighty and most merciful God, Your holy Word teaches that all authority begins and ends with You, and so you are the Divine Author of earthly governance. Your Word reveals that You do this as you employ men and women for service within the three estates of the Church, the Family, and the Government, not lifting anyone in these to a position of self-privilege and tyranny, but setting them to the task of humility given for the well-being of those they serve.
Faithful God, move all attending to the work of this body to know such humility, and by it, to love these three estates.
As their work would meet with the Church, let them be ones seeking to preserve religious liberty, desiring to maintain the freedom to live according to the doctrines of faith. Hinder all attempts to burden Godly consciences by unjust laws. Defend against the crafting of legislation designed to cause your faithful to forsake the truth of Your Word.
As these Senators observe the estate of Family—a father, a mother, and children—cause them to admire the institution, not only as honorable, but as a society’s most powerful agent for stability. Be swift to avert the confusion of Holy Marriage as You have designed it. Within these same ranks, let children be cherished. Unravel any spirit that would consider a child in the womb to be nothing more than an inconvenience, a gelatin of cells, a non-person whose tiny frame is not protected, but rather fit only to be destroyed and scraped from a surgical tray into the trash. Convert and convince all leaders away from such atrocities born of radical individualism—which is the worship of “self” as the first and last to all things—a false liberty declaring each person free to do whatever he or she wants or feels, and to do so without consequence.
Being the embodiment of the estate of Government, grant these Senators wisdom to seek legitimate impartiality according to objective truth born from Natural Law, and protect all who desire to remain in stride with biological verity from the threat of punishment or the labeling of bigotry.
Hear us as we pray, and help us, dear Lord! We need you. Be merciful, and do not rest idly by as this elected body joins for service. Cast the bright beams of Your love and insight into their hearts. Strengthen us, the citizens of Michigan, with the resolve to stand alongside Senators pursuing truth, and pit us mightily against those who do not. Equip us with the patience to pray for all, and by Your grace, lead us together to sunlit horizons where this government might be called “good.”
As all of Mankind dwells in Sin and is unworthy of Your help, still, Your Word heralds Your great love for us. Even now, Your believers implore you with contrite hearts, confident that you will hear and mindful that You will work for the good of those who love You, who are called according to Your purpose. We pray these things through the merits and mediation of the Son of God, (+) Jesus Christ—the only savior from Sin and the one way of eternal life—who lives and reigns with Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.