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Inauguration Day Prayer for President Lyndon B. Johnson, by Rabbi Hyman Judah Schachtel (1965)

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Almighty God,
we thank Thee for this inaugural,
the living historic witness to our faith in Thee
and to the choice and actions of a free people.
Here at the Capitol of our Nation,
the very sight of which exalts our hearts
and awakens thrilling memories
of the preeminent men of our resplendent past,
we pray for Thy blessings upon our beloved President,
the Vice President,
and those associated with them
in the sacred trust of leadership.

As Lyndon Baines Johnson
and Hubert Horatio Humphrey
each places his hand on the Bible
to take his oath of office,
let them know
and let us feel
that the hands of all of us join theirs
in this symbolic avowal
that Thou art supreme
and Thy Holy Word our eternal challenge.

We ask for no miracles
beyond the miracle which is always with us,
if we will only use it,
the power of love
to transform foes into friends,
slaves into free-men,
the curse of war and poverty
into the benediction of concord and plenty.

May this inauguration mark, O Lord,
the renewal of a people unafraid of the tasks of greatness,
a turning point in American history when we move closer
to the realization of President Johnson’s dream
of a better life for every citizen,
and of uniting with all who are dedicated
to the continuance of humanity’s immemorial, heroic journey
toward freedom and prosperity,
justice, and peace.

This prayer by Rabbi Hyman Judah Schachtel, Congregation Beth Israel (Houston, Texas), was recorded in the United States’ Congressional Record on January 20, 1965.


Inauguration Day Prayer for President Lyndon B. Johnson by Rabbi Hyman Judah Schachtel (1965)

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