Jan 042019 7 Responses

A Prayer for Our New Mayor

On January 4, 2019, my hometown inaugurated her new mayor. George McGill is the first African-American mayor in Fort Smith. This is my invocation before his inaugural address. 

Almighty God,

Great is Your faithfulness, Lord, unto us. Even on this cold January morning, new mercies we see. Your word says “every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of lights.” Our new mayor has never claimed to be perfect, but he is good—good to those who know him, good to the country he has served, good for the community he now leads. So we begin this day with a prayer of thanksgiving for our new mayor—George McGill.

Yet even as we thank you that he is with us today Father, we set him apart from us on this day for the task of leadership. Be with him. “Establish the work of his hands.” Allow him to keep his heart of service even when some don’t want to be served. Empower him to keep his tongue of eloquence even when the critics are harsh. Ensure his heart be full of hope even when the malaise of apathy is around.

Father Your word has shown us that good leadership demands good character. So we thank you for George’s heart, his integrity, and his service to You. Father, even in this day that values pragmatism, keep this mayor principled. In this day that values the shortcut, give him a vision for the long-haul. In this day of “gotcha-politics” keep his mind on true public service.

And Father, we recognize that even though the waters appear calm on this beautiful morning, there are some rip-currents in this community. There are some people and institutions who on the surface give the appearance of integrity but underneath have a swift current of injustice guiding their actions. Father, give this Mayor a soft hand, but a stiff backbone. Give him a quiet determinism that marches toward justice no matter what he might face. Let him be as “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”

But not just him, Father. Be with us as well. Let us be voices of encouragement that drown out the voices of pessimism. Let us be quick to act when most are just quick to talk. Let us love in a way that challenges the powerful and comforts the downtrodden.

And finally Father, let this be a day for the children of Fort Smith. Let George’s life and position be one that encourages hope and possibility from Midland Avenue to Mile-Tree Drive. Let my children and all the children of Fort Smith know that leadership, influence, and service is just as likely to come from Boone Ave as it is from Broken Hill Drive.

Lord, all he will need you will provide so give George “strength for today and a bright hope for tomorrow.”

In Jesus name,


7 Responses to A Prayer for Our New Mayor

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