Rev. Dr. David Swinton, lead Pastor of Grace United Methodist Church, Des Moines, offered the opening prayer for a Presidential event, held May 22, 2012, on the State Fair Grounds. He had an opportunity to Meet President Barack Obama prior to the start of the rally. Rev. Swinton's prayer invited people to consider "that we're up to something in all of our lives that's a lot more important than one election or one candidate...we are the beneficiaries of the hard work, the humility, the faith of many generations. We are all children of the One God."
The text of Rev. Swinton's prayer:
O Holy God, creator of all, and hope of the world. We ask for your presence with us here this evening. May your divine spirit blow across this blessed land and empower the efforts of those who labor for peace, justice, righteousness, and love.
We thank you for the blessings we have received in this country: for abundant and beautiful land, for freedom, and for democracy. We pray for those who put their lives on the line every day for their country. And we especially remember and commend unto you those who have laid down their lives for their sisters and brothers.
We thank you as well for the many good gifts enjoyed by the people of Iowa: for rich soil, for caring communities, for a commitment to educating children, and for the humility and the hard work of many generations. We pray that we may also continue here in this state, a long tradition of being those who have been early to recognize the dignity of people who have all too often had their humanity denied—a tradition of being those who defend right of others’ to freedom, to education, to legal redress, and to marital union.
Help us to be strong when helping the weak,
Courageous when striving through difficult times,
Fearless when facing our own faults,
And compassionate when addressing the mistakes of others.
We pray today for President Obama and his family, and that they may have safe, sacred space for the strengthening of the bonds of love between them. May our President and this nation’s other leaders always be led by your wisdom and guided by an utmost concern for others.
We pray now with a vision of the day when all your children will choose:
love over hate
peace over violence
wisdom over ignorance
and faith over fear.
We pray as your children, brothers and sisters together, Amen.