CINCINNATI (TDB) -- A very adroit blogger, Eric Vessels of Progress Ohio, is asking "What would be your prayer for the General Assembly?" and he got the idea by reading the online musings of Mark Daniels, who is headed for Columbus today to perform an awesome task. Daniels is to offer the opening prayer at the Ohio House of Representatives, which starts its legislative business at 1 p.m. Daniels has his own blog, markdaniels.blogspot.com, and says he's come up with four short lines to deliver when the session starts. He didn't reveal what they contain.
Vessels, www.progressohio.org is left of center in his political view of the world, and says he's interested in prayers with a social justice flavor.
''You'd hope those prayers might include pasing a minimum wage amendment to the Constitution without undue partisan bickering and attention to the interests of the elite,'' Vessels said. "You'd surely hope those prayers might include ensuring safeguards and protections against lead paint poisoning of children, or effective deterrent measures against consumer fraud. I'd also include a healthy dose of working together in a bipartisan spirit and a strong prayer to prevent petty punitive legislation meant to harm the other side of the aisle and prevent them from effectively governing. You might even include something about governing for the good of all the people in the state and do so in an above board manner within the cleansing light of public scrutiny."
I really can't disagree with any of that.
But my prayer would go in a different direction, somewhere more universal. I'd ask God, or the deity, to keep all of our service people in Iraq and Afghanistan in his grace. And I'd entreat for peace on earth.
Following Mark Daniels' lead that brevity is best, my prayer might go like this:
Lord, righteousness is not something,
People can earn by doing good deeds.
God's work, not our work, brings salvation,
Dear Lord, remove us from the quicksand of selfishness.
[UPDATE: Wednesday, 12/20, 8:19 A.M. Well, I just checked out Mark's Website and saw his prayer and it was excellent, which means he was inspired, or the divinity classes at Ohio State hit the mark. Hopefully, both. Here's his prayer:
''Lord, as this General Assembly session draws slowly to a close,
we ask three things for the members of both the House and the Senate,
both Republicans and Democrats.
First: We ask for You to give them the wisdom to discern the difference
between what's important, what's urgent and what's unnecessary.
Second: We ask that You would also give them the clear-headedness
and the courage they need to vote with that wisdom.
Finally: We ask that their wills be open to whatever guidance You want to give to them.
We can ask for nothing more. Amen."
And Amen to every word, Mark, especially the wisdom part. Should we expect anything less? ]