I had the honor and privilege of giving the invocation for one of Irvine’s City Council meetings. What is an invocation you ask? I had to look it up myself. It’s basically an opening prayer. I accepted the city’s invitation mainly because it supports one of the values of New Life: to be a church for the city. We want to be a church that doesn’t just use Irvine as a place for worship but blesses Irvine as a place to serve.
Below is the transcript of the prayer that I gave. Please note that the city has strict guidelines as to what can or cannot be said in an invocation. Mainly, no favoritism can be shown to any one religion. This rules out using names like “Jesus” or “Father in heaven.”
Dear Almighty God,
We begin this meeting with prayer because we recognize our great need and dependence upon you. We pray because you are God, and we are not. We humbly acknowledge that even the best humans are still humans at best. With humility, we confess that we lack wisdom. We confess we could use more compassion. We confess that many times we lack courage. That is why we pray. We pray that you would do for us, what we cannot do for ourselves.
We pray that you would grant us wisdom so that the decisions made would best serve the citizens of this great city. We pray for compassion so that our decisions would protect those who cannot protect themselves. We pray for courage so that our decisions would be based on what is noble and right rather than what is popular and easy.
We ask that you would help us to see ourselves as servants–servants of this city, servants of your people, and servants of you, oh God. May that be reflected in our proceedings this day. Amen.