Home > Christianity and the Culture, Uncategorized > Was that Necessary, Joseph Lowery?

Was that Necessary, Joseph Lowery?

Now in Rev. Joseph Lowery said some things on Inauguration Day that I am not sure should have been in a prayer:

“We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to give back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right.”


Some people consider Mr. Lowery’s prayer offensive to the particular ethnic groups mentioned.  But my feeling is that regardless of whom it is addressed to, I was struck by the lack of authenticity.  I often wonder if some people are genuinely praying to God, or they are praying to be heard primarily by men.  (Matthew 6:5-8)   Mr. Lowery started rhyming! Rhyming!  If I had to put some good money on it, I believe he was praying to be heard.

God gives us a blueprint for prayer in Matthew 6 – The Lord’s Prayer.  However, there is no one size fits all prayer.  Sometimes your prayer may be short — “I love you God.”  Or it may be long — “Lord, I’ve got to tell you all that stuff I did during inauguration week…” 🙂  Prayer is simply communicating with God.  Don’t worry about getting every single word right.  For believers, the Bible tells us that the Spirit prays for us when don’t know what to pray for.  (Romans 8:26).  So even when we are tongue tied or asking for the wrong stuff the Sprit has us covered already.  Speak with God in your way.   Just be open and wait for his answer!

  1. January 22, 2009 at 2:33 am

    Ahhh, you didn’t like when he included the nursery rhyme in the prayer? LOL!!! Boy, don’t you know that’s what you call some good praying! *wink*

    All kidding aside… I’m with you. I think that RW and JL’s prayer, in their own way, lacked in authenticity and sincerety. But who am I to judge.

    JL is 87-years-old. For him, he was probably sincere.
    But I once heard a wise man say it is possible to be sincerely wrong. LOL

    But with that being said, I really liked JL’s speech that was disguised as a prayer. Yeah, he could’ve left the 1960 rhyme off. 🙂 But I enjoyed him better than RW.

    I love this entry. Nice and enlightening… Thanks for being a light.


  2. January 22, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    What did Rick Warren say that was not authentic?

    The inauguration is a coronation of a King. I don’t think it was the time to get on your soapbox about your the issues that are near and dear to your heart. Especially not the “white get right comments.” This ain’t 1968! There is a time and place for everything.

  3. January 22, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    What I meant by coronation of a King is that it was about Obama and not all that other stuff that was going on.

  4. January 25, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    Prayer is conversation with God…thats all. We need to stop looking for flaws in a simple jester of humor. I am a Latina from Chicago and was not at all offended, but inspired by his prayer that brought a smile to may face. When we come to God in prayer, our conversations with him are not limited to conventional ideals. We need to embrace all even in our different ways of praying. Again, there was no put down of any kind in his rhym. Keep the peace, Love you all. Ana

  5. January 26, 2009 at 12:05 am

    @Ana, thanks for responding with such a thoughtful comment. Your point is well taken. But let me ask you this: do you not think that the way in which Caucasian people were cast in his prayer, could offend some Caucasian people. Why are they the only people who have to get right? Don’t we all have some issues that we need to address?

  6. January 26, 2009 at 7:09 am

    great prayer……get over it.

  7. January 26, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    @signed seal delivered I have the same question for you that I have for Ana?

  8. June 2, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    I agree with you P.T. ..sigh. You aren’t wrong and your statements are correctly founded. Rick Warren’s prayer was authentic because it was in the name of the only authentic person ever to walk this planet-Jesus Christ. Praying for laughs, praying for rhyme scheme…inappropriate. I say this because the Lord’s prayer did not contain these, and it was perfect. Should we not strive for such as well, being one of his children? It’s a shame folk looked to be entertained in everything, even the sacred, which prayer, conversation with God the Father indeed is.

    P4M P4U Pray for me, I’m praying for you brother,

  9. June 2, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Well. I couldn’t agree with you more C.S. We need folk who have the ear of God who are actually talking to God, not trying to hear themselves talk!

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