A Prayer for Equality

On January 20th, a number of citizens gathered to witness the historic inauguration of the 45th President of the United States of America. Many others gathered across the country to stand in solidarity against the hateful rhetoric upon which the president was elected.

I was invited to one such gathering in Trenton, New Jersey, by Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. Each of the twenty or so religious leaders was invited to pray on a specific topic, and my prompt was a Prayer for Equality. Below are the words I shared at that Interfaith Unity and Reflection Vigil.

In the name of God, the compassionate and the merciful. Amen.

O Holy Supreme Being, we call to you with many names, and we see you in many faces. We give you thanks for the day before us: for the sun that warms the earth, for the plants that slumber until the spring, for the hope of new life given to us with each new day. We are gathered today as one people, as your holy people, to pray for our nation and its leaders in these days which have left many anxious and afraid.

We have many things to ask, O Holy One, trusting that you will use us to bring about your justice. We ask that you would help us to see, know, and feel that we are valuable, not because of what we’ve done, but because of who you are. And once we recognize our own value, give us the ability to see that same value in others, not because of what they’ve done, but because of who you are.

Tear down the barriers that fear builds around us, and help us to see the “other” as one of us. Give us the strength to stand with those who are different from us: those who worship differently, those who dress differently, those who love differently. Help us, gracious God, to strive for equality and justice and peace among all people, as we respect and celebrate the dignity of every human being.

Above all, remind us of our role in the fragile tapestry of humankind; remind us that all people are created equally in your image; remind us that we are stronger together. We ask these things that all humanity might have equal access to the countless blessings of your creation.

In the name of God, the compassionate and the merciful. Amen.

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