Thank you, Mr. Speaker,
We gather together this morning, first of all with a heart of thankfulness. We are grateful for the many ways we are blessed in this nation and in our state. May we never take for granted the extraordinary privilege of freedom, our resources, our heritage and our faith, and our families. Please pray with me.
We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us as well as those who stand beside us. We give thanks for the people in each of our lives whom we love, who sacrifice much, and those who love us. God, we are thankful for the individuals who stand in this chamber, poised to begin their task as legislators, as members of this – the people’s House of Representatives – God I give you thanks. May we who live under their leadership and authority pray for them and encourage them with a heart of thanksgiving and intercession as the Bible commends.
Your Scripture teaches us that these leaders standing before us today are, in fact, chosen servants. Democratically chosen by the people of Oklahoma, but also of Your sovereign Will. Each one comes to their office and to this legislative body from a myriad of backgrounds and experiences, and varying perspectives. They possess a diversity of skills and knowledge. And you have been at work in each of their lives leading to this moment. They are the individuals, the men and the women, called out of their communities and districts from across Oklahoma, representing diverse communities with different challenges and needs, but also with different talents and resources to share. These are the women and men who step into this chamber and reason together, with conviction and compassion, to lead our state forward.
As they take the oath of office, for each one I pray:
Give them your spirit: of truth and not of fear, but of power, love, and sound judgment: The ability to respond in love, when the circumstances are driving them toward bitterness. The ability to do what is hard and what is right, when the temptation is to do what is easy or may seem popular.
Give them strength and endurance: When the days grow long and they discover the limits of their own strength, remind them of the Apostle Paul who writes, “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” And as Isaiah writes, “if you are their God, then you will be with them and will help them, God will uphold them with his righteous right hand.”
Give them humility and grace: May they do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility look to the interest of others first, and then themselves. Call to their mind the simple yet profound power at work in this world, to “humble yourselves before the LORD, and He will lift you up.”
Give them protection for their families: You love their families better than they can, so may they rest in your loving-kindness and protection, especially when their duties take them away from their homes.
Give them wisdom and discernment: Wisdom that is first of all pure, then peace-loving, gentle, easily entreated, full of mercy and good fruits…”
Bless the work of this House and this legislature in the years before them, so that all of Oklahoma may thrive, and every community across our state may flourish.
In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray, Amen.