Billy Graham Center
1997 Inaugural Prayer
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President Clinton, Mrs. Clinton, Vice President Gore, Mrs. Gore. I'm going to ask that we all bow our heads in prayer.
Our Father and our God, we thank You today for the privilege of coming into Your presence on this historic and solemn occasion.
We thank You for Your gracious hand which has preserved us as a nation. We praise You for the peaceful continuity of government that this Inauguration represents.
We recall that the Bible says, "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it" (Psalm 127: 1, KJV). You also said that to whom much has been given, much shall be required.
We look gratefully to the past, and thank You that from the very foundations of America You granted our forefathers courage and wisdom, as they trusted in You. So we ask today that You would inspire us by their example; where there has been failure, forgive us; where there has been progress, confirm; where there has been success, give us humility; and teach us to follow Your instructions more closely as we enter the next century.
Give to all those to whom You have entrusted leadership today a desire to seek Your will and to do it.
So today we ask Your blessing on President Clinton and his wife, Hillary, and their daughter, Chelsea; and upon Vice President Gore and his wife, Tipper, and their children.
Give to all our leaders the vision of what You desire America to become, and the wisdom to accomplish it, and the strength to cross the bridges into the 21st Century.
We pray also for the members of the House and the Senate; for the Supreme Court; and for all who bear responsibility of leadership in this nation which is blessed with such ethnic diversity.
We have not solved all the social problems of our time, such as drugs and racism. Technology and social engineering have not solved the basic problems of human greed, pride, intolerance, and selfishness. We need Your insight, we need Your compassion, we need Your strength.
As both President Clinton and Senator Dole urged us in the recent presidential campaign, may this be a time of coming together to help us deal with the problems we face. O Lord, help us to be reconciled first to you and secondly to each other. May Dr. Martin Luther King's dream finally come true for all of us. Help us to learn our courtesy to our fellow countryman that comes from the One who taught us that "whatever you want me to do to you, do also to them."
Remind us today that You have shown us what is good, and what You require of us: To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.
We ask that as a people we may humble ourselves before You, and seek Your will for our lives and for this great nation. Help us in our nation to work as never before to strengthen our families, and to give our children hope and a moral foundation for the future.
So may our desire be to serve You, and in so doing, serve one another. This we pray in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen
(Text from a Billy Graham Evangelistic Association press release in the Billy Graham Center Archives clipping file January 1997)
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