Pastor Bradley Gives Invocation for Minnesota State of the State Address

On March 14, 2018, Pastor Bradley prayed at the Joint Session of the Minnesota legislature for Governor Dayton's final State of the State Address. Listen to Pastor Bradley's prayer (begins at 3:50):

The following is the text of the prayer:

Holy One,
You have made your home in the wide tapestry of belief and tradition.

We come before you humbly to ask for your blessing:
your blessing on Governor Dayton;
on this gathering of legislators, judges, officers and secretaries;
on the state of Minnesota and the United States of America.

Stir up in this session the blessing
of just deliberation,
fair and honest legislation,
and compassionate and wise oversight.

Set Minnesota among the constellation of states as a North star,
turning around the common good,
honoring the inherent dignity of every life.

Protect us from falling into division,
becoming yet one more place where some race ahead of others,
leaving others behind.

At the center of our deliberations in this session,
place the voices of our young people,
those voices that call for safety and freedom from violence.
Place at the center of our awareness
the voices of those harassed and abused,
those voices the cry out β€œme too.”
Place at the center of our deliberations
the half million of us who struggle with poverty,
those voices who often see what power obscures;
place at the center of our consideration
those Minnesotans who work hard, seek new opportunities, and yearn for a good and productive life;
those who walked these lands before the mists of time,
and those newly arrived.

As we consider the state of our state,
cock our ear to the margins where creativity often blooms;
to the cracks in history where reformation takes shape;
and to the locked doors behind which sound the genuine voices of the future.

Where government constricts and diminishes our common life,
trim and reconstruct it.
Where government supports our common life and calls us into our higher selves,
enhance and expand it.
Push us across aisles and barriers, assumptions and stereotypes.
Turn enemies into collaborators.
Give us the gift of sacrificial compromise,
even a willingness to cast our antagonists in the most charitable light.

O God,
You set us on this planet to be its stewards.
Use us to care for land and water,
walleye and moose,
birch and Balsam fir,
the awesome beauty of boundary waters
and prairie flowers.

On this night, we pray for Governor Dayton.
We thank you for his service to this state,
and we ask you to send him wisdom,
courage, compassion, tenacity
and, O Lord, lots of patience.

We pray in, with, and under your many names,
blessed by your loving presence,
wrapped in your shining light,
now and forever.