Saturday, July 26, 2008

Prayer From A Black Man

"Lord - Protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will."

I love this prayer, and love it more since it was private and not meant to be shared with me. It was in writing, and I stumbled across it tonight.

I am on a journey with this man. There have been some rocky moments as there always are when you travel with someone else. You don't always agree with a travel companion to which path should be taken. There have been times when I've wondered and worried if the journey will end in colossal disappointment.

His face is intelligent and kind. I artsied up one of his photos and use it as a screensaver. I like his voice, too, and his words are like music. My children like him. As a family we look up to him.

Does his plea to the Creator give insight into his soul? Does his choice of words show he is really no different from me (or you), who shares the same worries about despair and pride, and wanting wisdom and guidance in doing the right thing, from the same God, in hope and faith that He will answer?

The eyes of another watched him when he wrote this prayer, folded it neatly and placed it in a place that has the same tradition of don't read other people's stuff like the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC, where there are over 50,000 names of the dead carved on a very, very long wall.

The curious and relatives visit and sometimes leave letters, flowers, mementos. I've even seen a pack of Twinkies there when I went several times many years ago to see the name of a cousin. Other visitors are not supposed to touch them, although security collects them. Other than perishables, they do not dispose of them.

Someone, however, took this man's prayer note and published it. Maybe they wanted recognition for this, maybe they earned a few bucks, or maybe they were just curious. Whatever their motivation, learning what he said to God touched me.

So who is this man who wrote this prayer and left it in one of the many cracks in the Jerusalem's holiest Wailing Wall, where it is sacrilegious to touch or read another person's words to God?

He's the man who many individuals and families are traveling with in an amazing journey. Not only in America, but in many other countries too. I was surprised to learn the other day that a crowd of nearly a quarter million citizens in Germany came to greet and cheer him. Even they are on the path he is leading.

None of us want any more walls.

I learned to be cautious of the words and motivations of others. For whatever reason, however, Barack Obama's prayer rings true.

I hope God answers it.


  1. Great post,
    That is a powerful prayer! Lord willing, his prayer will be answered.


  2. Thanks, Truth. It caught me by surprise last night.

  3. It gave me the warm fuzzies to know that Barack wrote this. Good post.

  4. It's a pleasure sharing the journey with you Kit.

  5. Thanks Mimi and Sagacious. Now I'm all warm and fuzzy again...

  6. I've been getting increasingly cynical about him lately, but this prayer of his, and that crowd in Germany, bring back some hope for me. He's going to have to be an "instrument" of other forces as well if he achieves occupancy of the big chair, but this post revives some hope for me that he'll resist the more pernicious forces more than other apparently goodhearted occupants have. Thanks for this, Kit, I hadn't seen that prayer.

  7. My sentiments too, Macon. His going along with Senate majority's vote on FISA was deeply unsettling since it undermines the 4th Amendment:

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

    I can only hope Barack went along with FISA because this law would have passed even if he hadn't, and he chooses his battles very carefully.

    I assume he'll have more lee-way as President to resist the darker forces you mentioned, who rule the planet. Between him and McCain, he's clearly the one most likely to try to save humanity from itself.

    His prayer reflects this, and gives me real hope, once again.

  8. Hey there K.I.T.!

    I don't look up to Obama. Human beings do not belong on pedastals. Admiring someone and putting them up high on a pedastal is very different.

    Many black people think that when Obama is president, race issues will improve in this country. I doubt that will happen. Hearts will be changed when people decide that they want their OWN hearts to change.

    Even after hearts are changed, white supremacist, patriarchal systems that have been reinforced for centuries will not suddenly crumble when the Obamas move to Pennsylvania Avenue.

    There are many thoughts that I had about this "stolen prayer" situation....

    For those who think that a church is SACRED space...well... they need to think again.

    A church is a building and anyone enters it.

    It has EVERY KIND of character walking inside of it as you would find walking down the street.

    I do not believe that Obama did not know that if he wrote a note that it COULD be published.

    He's a politician and he knows by now that ANYTHING he does or says will be in a paper.

    I hope his prayer is answered too, but I believe he KNEW exactly what he was doing, politically, when he wrote it down and left it there ...."naively".

    Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

  9. Obama could have so easily worked his prayer into a public speech since he does give speeches at churches from time to time; thus, no need to take the chance of placing it in the Western Wailing Wall in Jerusalem where the chances were about nil that someone would do this.

    Barack is hardly the first high-profile public official who placed a prayer there, but he is the first ever to have it removed and published. This has caused a major brouhaha in Israel and the paper that published it is being sued and will probably be boycotted by their readers.

    While rabbis and Jews are having a fit over the incident, I see it as Divine Intervention.

    Also, I do 'look up' to leaders to lead, and make no apologies when they lead well enough to become a hero. This isn't the same placing them on a religious pedestal as you mentioned. My opinion: Americans genuinely needs more heroes to look up to and emulate, especially our youth.

    So far, Barack is very admirable for many things and has the potential to become one, and four or eight years in the White House will determine if will. We need him to lead us out of the Bush Administration's terrible darkness.

    You would enjoy an article I wrote a few weeks back, Re-Thinking Hero Worshiping and Love, to point out the problems inherent in pinning your hopes on one person. This is why I hope God answers his prayer.

  10. I have to share this article with my dad. He was skeptical of Barack in the beginning, but has turned a new leaf (thank God) and is in full support of Obama. This prayer touched me as well, and I think it'll do the same for dad.

  11. Actually, I'm pretty offended that someone would remove a prayer from that wall. It should be between him and God.

    However, I'm heartened to read what' in it. not because it's changed or enhanced what I believe about him as a man. But because I think that if more people prayed like this, we'd have a lot fewer problems. If we pray prayers like this, we set our minds. When we set our minds, we change our behavior. I've seen it happen. And that is the only thing that can save us. I hope this goes viral. We need a virus like this one.

    I know I'm rambling. I've had a rough day (though not as bad as some in recent history!), and this prayer has started to turn it around.

    Thanks again, Kit. You often lift my day.

  12. Thanks Laurel. The feeling is mutual.

    You're not the only one offended that his prayer was violated. The Israeli's are having a fit over this. This Sunday, July 27th article in one of their papers, the Haaretz, describes it well.

    Lawyer Seeks Police Probe Into Removal & Publication Of Note Obama Put Into Western Wall

  13. Maybe they were just making sure that he wasn't writting to Allah. You know how Barack loves to wear turbans and all behind closed doors.

    But then again, nothing is private anymore. Maybe this is just a sign of things to come since he did vote for that FISA Bill and all.

    I got nuthin but love for "Barry O", and I wish people would respect his privacy as they should everybody's in this country.

  14. Rippa, Tell it! LOL, that would have been hilarious if he had started off his prayer with Dear Allah!

    No privacy, no where, for no one. Kills me about the shredding of the 4th Amendment; my wish list is that he'll try to reverse it if elected, but I ain't holding my breath, at least in the first 4 years.

    And if I were the the O-Man or Michelle, I'd lock up my dirty clothes before leaving a hotel room because their drawers might be for sale on Ebay the next day.

  15. What the media did not tell you is that Obama appeared on the stage of a free rock concert where free beer was in the offering.

  16. LOL, stop trippin', Walter. That shit ain't important! ;)

  17. Thank you God for permitting me to stumble across this site!
    I am praying for the man who wrote that prayer that indeed You grant him the graces he prayed for. Amen.

    Margaret V.N. Kiyaga (Mega Katonda Afirika, WOG).


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