Ed. Note: Last week I was invited to offer the invocation at the opening convocation of the Meharry Medical College, a historic institution that has trained doctors for the African American community since 1876, located in Nashville, TN. This is the prayer that I offered at that event.
Creating God, giver of life and sustainer of our souls,
our ancestors tell us that you spoke
and the universe sprang into being.
You, O God, hold the secrets of the universe in one hand,
and your love of your creation in the other,
and, you have bestowed upon us
the ability to discern your handiwork in the world around us.
As we gather this morning,
recognizing the beginning of a new year of teaching and learning,
may your workmanship be evident in all we do.
We come this morning with humility
as your servants called to the profession of healing.
You have given us the means
to better understand the workings of the human body,
and we thank you for the gifts you are bestowing upon us.
You have called us to the awesome task of caring for humankind,
and we recognize this calling as sacred and holy.
Lead us, O God, to remember that for all our gifts and skills,
there are times when we are limited in what we can do,
times when all we can do is to put others into your hands.
When those times come, as they surely will,
give us the grace to be healers with hearts,
helping others to experience wholeness
even when healing as we know it won’t come.
We assemble today for the 134th time
to celebrate another year in the pursuit of our calling.
Bless this institution,
and all those who work to train healers in this place.
Help the administration, faculty, and staff
to be the kind of professors and colleagues
through which excellence can be nurtured,
and compassion cultivated
so that ALL people–
those with means and those without,
those who are educated and those who aren’t,
those who have power in our world and those who don’t—
ALL those you have created, O God,
will know what it means to be made well.
We pray this today with expectation,
for you are making all things new,
and offer us hope for tomorrow.
Speak this year in a special way, for your servants are listening.