WASHINGTON (BP) Kirbyjon Caldwell, senior pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston, delivered the benediction prayer at the close of President Bush's inauguration Jan. 20.
Following is a transcript:
"Oh Lord God Almighty, the supply and supplier of faith and freedom, how excellent is Your name in all the earth. You are great and greatly to be praised. God, as we conclude this 55th inaugural ceremony, we conclude it with an attitude of thanksgiving. Thank You for protecting America's borders. After all, the Psalmist reminds us, unless You, O God, guard the territory, our efforts will be in vain.
"Thank You for our armed service personnel. And it is with unswerving thanksgiving that we pause to remember the persons who have made the ultimate sacrifice to help ensure America's safety. Thank You, O God, for surrounding our personnel, their families, their friends and our allies with Your favor and Your faithfulness.
"Deploy Your hosts from heaven so that Your will for America will be performed on earth as it is already perfected in heaven. I confess that Your face will shine upon the United States of America, granting us social peace and economic prosperity, particularly for the weary and the poor.
"I also confess, God, that each American's latter days will be better than their former days. Let it be unto us according to Your Word.
"Rally the Republicans, the Democrats and the Independents around Your common good so that America will truly become one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty, justice and equal opportunity for all -- including the least, the last and the lost.
"Bless every elected official right now. God, I declare Your blessings to shower upon our president, George W. Bush. Bless him, his family and his administration. I once again declare that no weapon formed against them shall prosper.
"God, forgive us for becoming so ensnarled in petty partisan politics that we miss Your glory and block our purpose. Deliver us from the evil one, from evil itself and from the mere appearance of evil.
"Give us clean hearts, so that we might have clean agendas, clean priorities and programs and even clean financial statements.
"Now, unto You, O God, the One who always has been and always will be, the one King of kings and the true power broker, we glorify and honor You.
Respecting persons of all faiths, I humbly submit this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."
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