Prayer Breakfast May 11, 2004

On Tuesday, May 11 at 7:00 AM, people gathered to listen to Rev. Sam Trumbore of the First Unitarian Universalist Church read a prayer outside the Empire State Plaza Convention Center.

View photos of the protest.

This is his prayer:

Protest Prayer Before a Bush/Pataki Prayer Breakfast

Blessed God of our hearts, minds and spirits
Holy Spirit of Light, Life and Love
Precious Saving Power that moves us toward the good
Protector of our souls from the temptations of evil
We invoke Your Presence in and amongst us this morning.

Very soon, the wife of the President of the United States and
The Governor of the Great state of New York
Will offer you thanks
Your Holy Name will soon be called out by the mighty and powerful
Gathered to thank you and praise you
The most privileged of our society will bow their heads
And ask for your favor and your blessing.

We who have gathered here very early this morning are troubled.
O Great Mystery beyond human comprehension,
Help us to understand the oddity of this picture.
Secular politicians are gathering for a fundraising event
And using holy prayer to fill their campaign chests.
Money that could be used to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and
Shelter the homeless will likely be used to pay for
Ungodly character assassination advertisements.
With no pretense of charitable purposes,
The secular and the religious will mix as the elite pay to pray.

We earnestly hope we have the wrong picture of what is happening.
We earnestly hope that this event will be an opportunity for these leaders
To actually get some real religion.
I dearly hope these leaders do not believe Jesus suffered and died
To promote the Roman cause and re-elect the Emperor.

He did not!

Jesus did not hob nob with kings and princes.
Jesus did not fundraise for the Roman governors.
Jesus did not tell the poor that their suffering was their own fault.He reached out to them;

He touched them;
He honored their faith;
He loved them;
He healed them.

So, Beloved Holy One,
We pray this morning that you will touch the hearts of these leaders.
As they open their hearts to you, we pray that you do indeed answer them.
Teach them about the power of your love to transform the world.
Open their eyes to the suffering of your people at their hands.
Open their emotions to the painful injustices in criminal justice system
That destroy lives, families and communities in the name of punishment.
Touch their breathing so they may know what it is like
To have asthma in the inner city and choke on polluted air.
Show them that the love between a man and a man and a woman and a woman
Can be just as valid and holy as the love of a woman and a man.
Expose the illusions that construct a unilateral foreign policy
That believes an American Empire is the only way to create a safe world.
Hold their attention on the quagmire in Iraq, the suffering of the Iraqi people,
The damage it is doing to our troops and to the prospects for peace.
Chastise them for their willingness to sacrifice our nation as a symbol of freedom
In a gluttonous dependence on foreign oil.

We do not believe you want us to destroy this planet
Killing each other over the spelling of your name and
Climbing over each other's dead bodies
So we can later join you in some other worldly heaven realm.

We believe that your desire is for peace and justice IN this world.
We believe you want all people to be fed, clothed and sheltered.
We believe all people should have health care and social security.
We believe you want more love in this world and less hate.

We gather in prayer this morning also.
A little lower and humbler of station perhaps
But we know we are equal in your sight
We know that all of us, rich or poor, strong or weak, talented or challenged, must die.
We know our deeds must plead their merits and be judged.
In the end how well we have loved will be all that matters.

May the calculating and conniving among those who gather this morning
See the error of their sinful ways.
May they be reborn to a new understanding of the great expansiveness of God's love.
A love that includes all great religions, all races, all sexual orientations,
All abilities and disabilities, all creatures large and small.
A love that glories in both the natural beauty of a sunrise in the Adirondacks
As well as the gleam of polished chrome and the coding of a computer chip.
This glorious creative power that embraces all of it
While encouraging the dynamic balance that holds it all together.

As we pray for others this morning,
So may the same prayer apply to us.
We pray this prayer in thy Holy Name. AMEN

Rev. Samuel A Trumbore on 5/11/04
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany