Today, I had the privilege of leading a Blessing Service for Don Killingsworth at First United Methodist Church prior to his inauguration. Joining together with three other pastors from the community, we prayed for his leadership, for his faculty and staff, for his students, and for his family.
I also had the honor of praying the invocation at his installation ceremony in the colosseum and joining Governor Kay Ivey and other dignitaries on the platform.
I am sharing my prayer of invocation with you in hopes that you will join the church I serve, the Jacksonville community, and this fine university in support of Dr. Killingsworth as they enter into a new chapter in history together.
Some of the language from my invocation is modeled after the prayer presented at the inauguration of George Washington. I enjoyed studying it as I prepared for this special moment.
PRAYER FOR THE INSTALLATION OF DON KILLINGSWORTH
Gracious and Loving God, We acknowledge today that you are both creator of beauty in the universe and author of wisdom in the university. You have revealed your glory to the nations, and you have sustained this earth with life. You are both magnificent and benevolent, and so we pause during this important ceremony of installation to give you thanks and praise.
On this day of new beginnings for Jacksonville State University, we pray for this fine institution. We humbly ask that you assist with your spirit of counsel and fortitude the president of this establishment. May his administration be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to the faculty, staff, and students whom he serves. May he encourage due respect for virtue and build character in countless young women and men. May he warm hearts as well as enlighten minds.
Let the light of your divine wisdom direct the deliberations of the leadership of Jacksonville State University, and most especially of President Don Killingsworth. May he seek to preserve its legacy and promote its welfare. May he be enabled, by your powerful protection, to discharge his duties with honesty and compassion.
For we know, oh God, that if you have integrity, nothing else matters. And if you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters. So give him, Lord, what matters, what matters the most.
We likewise commend to your unbounded mercy all the present and future students of Jacksonville State University, that they be blessed with the pursuit of knowledge and sanctified in the practice of good citizenship. May the university be preserved in that peace which the world cannot give; and may we, after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.
We pray to you, who are Lord and God, for ever and ever.
And now, with deep respect to the many diverse people of faith that might be represented here, I offer this prayer in the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen.