Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz, accepted the invitation to offer the closing prayer at the Democratic National Convention on Monday night. Some are upset that Donald Miller prayed. No, wait… I’m mean they are upset that he prayed in the presence of their enemies. It will now become necessary for many to exclude Miller from their PLBLs (Portable Lamb’s Book of Life) because their paradigm cannot allow for a truly Christian prayer at an event where Democrats [shudder] are present.
Before throwing out any bathwater that still has a baby in it, read and listen first. Then draw your conclusions (always the preferable order of things).
Here is the text of his prayer and a short interview with him from Christianity Today for your consideration:
This week, as the world looks on, help the leaders in this room create a civil dialogue about our future.
We need you, God, as individuals and also as a nation.
We need you to protect us from our enemies, but also from ourselves, because we are easily tempted toward apathy.
Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left.
Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them.
Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.
Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.
Hep us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education.
Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony.
We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there. We need your help.
Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world.
A lot of people don’t like us but that’s because they don’t know the heart of the average American.
Will you give us favor and forgiveness, along with our allies around the world.
Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.
Lastly, father, unify us.
Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common.
And unify us not just in our ideas and in our sentiments—but in our actions, as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater than the one we have come to cherish.
God we know that you are good.
Thank you for blessing us in so many ways as Americans.
I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.
Let Him be our example.
Your thoughts? Your comments are welcome below…
5 thoughts on “A Prayer for All Parties”
Do you ACTUALLY know people who are offended simply because Miller’s prayer was offered in the presence of Democrats? Are you engaging in hyperbole by saying “many” Christians will believe Miller is now excluded from Heaven simply because he offered a Christian prayer at an event where Democrats are present? If so, we (as a nation, culture and religion) are in much worse shape than I ever imagined; if not, your first paragraph is a puzzle. Obviously, the prayer itself was EXACTLY right, and the interview brilliant (why didn’t Obama pick Miller for VP?!) If Christians can’t say “Amen” to this prayer, I’m not sure anything else they say matters.
Based on Obama’s comments last night at convention, I would have to say that either God did not answer Miller’s point on creating a “civil dialogue” or (and what may be more the case in point here) that Obama did not hear – and thus cooperate with – that particular part. In any case, it seems that prayers for unity are best serviced by the Creator God when preceded by a willful corporate humility (thankfully, which is the order Miller presented in his prayer). I’m just not sure that we’ll see that willfulness at either convention this year, but then that’s what prayer is for, I guess… I hope. [Swoosh! Saved the baby… but just barely!)
I think that is awesome! God’s word never returns void and He spoke the truth loud and clear for everyone to hear it! Way to go Mr. Miller!!
True, there was some hyperbole there. However, he is being criticized and I have to wonder aloud if he would have been equally criticized had he offered the same prayer at the RNC. Maybe, maybe not.
I’ve read through some comments on various blogs, and noticed some interesting comments about his prayer. So my characterization may be overdone, but it does have some grounding in reality. Unfortunately I went to seminary with some of these sort of folk (some, i say–overall seminary was a good experience for me).
Here are some spots where some discussion has taken place…
Greg Boyd has an excellent post on Obama’s speech—Boyd touches on some nerves that I found pertinent to the Miller conversation that’s going on as well.