God and Father of us all, we thank you for granting us another day. We praise you for your creative and sustaining energy, for the beauty of all that surrounds us each day, and for the opportunity to be here today.
Father, our chief desire in the hours to come is to live our lives in a manner that is pleasing to you. And we believe that you’ve shown us the right way to live in the life of your son, Jesus Christ. Jesus was a great man, a great teacher, a healer, a miracle worker, a good son, a good brother, and a good friend. But the quality that makes him the best model for us today is the way he led people. He led by serving.
Father, your son, Jesus, gave the greatest seminar on leadership in the history of humanity when he knelt before 12 dusty, sweaty fisherman and washed their feet. He served these men when they should have been serving him. He served them with no expectation of return. He would serve them in an even more dramatic way in the days to come by laying down his life for them.
God, we come to you in need of your help. We ask first of all, that you would remind us of who we are and where we have come from. Some of the brightest and most talented men and women in the country are in this room today. Each of these representatives has distinguished themselves is some manner and made themselves a respected and admired leader. But help us to remember why we are here. We are here because farmers and lawyers, dentists and plumbers, soccer moms and janitors, 5-year-old preschoolers and 80-year-old pastors have asked us to come here and represent them, to put a voice to their dreams and a name to their hopes. God, in the face of this awesome responsibility and privilege, will you give these men and women the gift of a servant’s heart?
Father, there are many important things that must be discussed and decided today and in the days to come. The tasks are large, the expectations are huge, and the problems are daunting. But God, if you empower each of these representatives to truly take upon them the heart and lifestyle of a servant, as modeled by Jesus himself, then nothing will be impossible for them. If you will remind them today that they represent the hopes and dreams of the citizens of the great State of Texas, and that their task here is to represent those hopes and dreams, not to push forward their own personal agenda, then great hopes and dreams will be accomplished indeed.
Lord, as we prepare to serve you and the people of Texas today, we take a moment to ask for you blessings on others who are in need of your strength. We pray for President Bush and his staff as they lead our great nation. Give them wisdom, stamina, and perseverance in the face of all that they must deal with today, and may they share our servant heart as they seek to lead this country. Be with those who have endured much hardship in Indonesia and the surrounding areas. Lay your hand of mercy upon them, and lend strength and courage to those who are giving of themselves in the restoration and recovery efforts there. Finally, be with the men and women of our armed forces who are serving us all over the world today, providing us with freedoms that we take for granted and safety that we can’t live without. Fill them with hope and courage as they give their lives for their country and shield us with their honor and bravery.
Loving Father, one of your servants once said, “Use power to help people. For we are given power not to advance our own purposes nor to make a great show in the world, nor a name. There is but one just use of power, and it is to serve people.” (George Bush, Inspirational Quotes & Insights for Leaders) May we indeed use the power, and the position, and the influence we have today to serve. We pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ, the one who served and saves us. Amen.
Rev. Lisa Greenwood Wolcott of the First United Methodist Church, Commerce led the Senate: (146 words)
O God, as You anointed leaders and called prophets of old, so today You call representatives of Your people, leaders of this age: Men and women who love Your people and can walk with them, who feel their pain and share their joys, who dream their dreams and strive to accompany them to their common goal. Dear God of the ages, inspire the minds and hearts of all the women and men to whom You have committed the responsibility of government and leadership in our great state. Give to them the vision of truth and justice which transcends the barriers we have constructed by human means. Bless the work that is accomplished, the decisions that are made, and the process in the midst of it all; may it always be to a greater glory than our own. In Your holy and gracious name we pray. Amen.
Just about a day later, Rev. Waylon D. Sias, pastor of the Marlin Missionary Baptist Church, leads the House on the 3rd: (240 words)
To our Lord and the God of the universe, we offer this prayer on behalf of our governor and the Texas House of Representatives as they begin their legislative session for the year of 2005. We ask you for guidance, direction, and unity as they make decisions that will improve our schools, city, and state. We ask for and seek your direction and strength to put aside any differences and personal agendas so that the common good for all men might be accomplished.
Lord, take control of their minds and hearts, that they might remember that our children are in need of direction and instruction and all are important from the state house to the poor house. Remember our unemployed, our homeless, the uneducated, the fatherless, the church, the un-churched. The young as well as the old, the rich, the poor, and help us to know that we all have a responsibility to do all we can to help and represent those who cannot help themselves.
Combine us Lord, for a house divided against itself cannot stand. Together we stand, divided we fall. And Lord, as we close this prayer please remember our President and his staff, our troops at home and abroad. We ask for your divine protection as we fight for freedom and peace for all people, and that our great State of Texas may be an example for states and nations to follow. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Finally, Rev. Stephen Warren, First Baptist Church, Buda, leads the Senate on the 3rd: (161 words)
Our heavenly Father, creator and sustainer of us all, we humbly come before You asking that You give to us Your wisdom in everything that we do and try to accomplish in this day and in the days to come. Bless our leaders of our state as they seek to lead our state. We thank You for the love that You continually give to us. Please forgive us when we fail You and forget to acknowledge You. We ask that You be with our men and women who are so gallantly serving in our armed forces and that You keep them safe and out of harm’s way. Please give comfort and peace to the families that are remaining here at home as they wait for their loved ones to come home. Lord, continue to watch over our great state and nation and be with our leaders as they seek to serve us. In Your precious name we ask these things. Amen.