“It’s so interesting to think that sitting here; down in the basement classroom of the Education Building that we wrote a prayer that may actually make a real change and reach people outside these walls.” This answer was given by 17-year-old Dennis Sweeney when the YAC (Young Adults in Church) class at St. Anne’s, West Chester, was asked how it felt to have had the prayer they wrote read this week to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Upon receiving questions from congregants such as “Should we pray for our President” and “Why would the children of the National Cathedral sing at the inauguration?” Presiding Bishop Curry spoke up as our leader and called the people to remembrance.

“Prayer is not a simplistic cheer or declaration of support. Prayers of lament cry out in pain and cry for justice. Prayer can celebrate. Prayer can also ask God to intervene and change the course of history, to change someone’s mind, or his or her heart….Should we pray for the president?  Yes!” (http://www.episcopalchurch.org/posts/publicaffairs/statement-episcopal-church-presiding-bishop-curry-regarding-prayers-president)

After reading our Presiding Bishop’s full message, the youth at St. Anne’s read through the Book of Common Prayer for prayers for our nation and civic leaders and were challenged to write their own prayer for this time of transition. Their responses were then combined to form a final prayer. The youth and advisors felt convicted to share their prayer outside of their classroom and sent the prayer to the office of the Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, Father Conroy. Conroy was so impressed that he read the prayer to open the House’s session on Monday, January 23.

Please join us in prayer and help this prayer written inside a small classroom in a basement make an impact on all those needing words of hope, peace, courage and unity.

The YAC Class, St. Anne, West Chester, Ohio

Dear God, we ask you to bless our country during this time of leadership transition. We ask that you guide the people of this land, and all nations, to honor one another, serve the common good, and promote the dignity and freedom of every person. We pray that everyone who rules this country might pursue peace and justice.

We pray for wisdom, humility, and mercy to be in the hearts of our leaders as they make decisions for the welfare of all people. We ask that you allow our world’s leaders, and those who have the burden of any power or authority, to execute their actions for the justice of the world, and in harmony with your word.

Please help to guide the President as he takes on his role. Ease his mind so that he is able to do his job. Help him to keep in mind the thoughts of others, to have a listening heart and an open mind, and to remember that he is a representative of all people of this country. Help him to do the will of what is best for the nation.

We pray to you for the world’s security, safety, and tranquility. Please let there be a guiding light to peace for all people, and an end to all war and violence. In your name we pray. Amen.

(Written by the high school Sunday School class of St. Anne, West Chester, Ohio.)