22 thoughts on “donald miller’s closing benediction at the dnc”

  1. Well said. I do wonder why the sound dropped out though. Just a technical difficulty or was he going someplace that the moderators didn’t like?

  2. sorry to be the annoying anabaptist here…but do we feel that our ability to be a prophetic voice is lost a little when you are percieved as endorsing a particular party or candidate? i say that, but also know i respect donald miller very much and God is using his amazing ministry. just asking the question.

    i know with the religious right, we have been able to “write off” guys like robertson, dobson and hagee because there message is drowned out or even affected by their political allegiances. the same could be said for the R.L. I just don’t want to see donald miller’s voice get drowned out as well.

    i hope you hear my heart, this is said in love not out of anything else, i hope.

  3. Here’s the full text from his website:
    “Father God,

    This week, as the world looks on, help the leaders in this room create a civil dialogue about our future.

    We need you, God, as individuals and also as a nation.

    We need you to protect us from our enemies, but also from ourselves, because we are easily tempted toward apathy.

    Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left.

    Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them.

    Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.

    Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.

    Hep us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education.

    Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony.

    We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there. We need your help.

    Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world.

    A lot of people don’t like us but that’s because they don’t know the heart of the average American.

    Will you give us favor and forgiveness, along with our allies around the world.

    Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.

    Lastly, father, unify us.

    Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common.

    And unify us not just in our ideas and in our sentiments—but in our actions, as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater than the one we have come to cherish.

    God we know that you are good.

    Thank you for blessing us in so many ways as Americans.

    I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.

    Let Him be our example.

  4. Interesting that he closed with “I make this request in the name of Christ, Jesus” instead of “We”. I’d not thought of changing it around just that little bit in order to be a bit more p/c.

  5. dj — the sound drop is only on that version of the video i posted. it didn’t drop at the live event.

    joe — this is where i would disagree with cameron strang (who was originally slated to pray, but backed out after realizing it was on the main stage of the event). i liked donald’s response when asked why he was doing it: he said something like, “that’s what we do — when someone asks us to pray, we pray.”

    on one hand, praying anywhere shouldn’t necessarily constitute and endorsement. that said, i think there’s a pretty significant difference between the potentially implied endorsement of praying at the national convention of a candidate (what miller did), and constantly maligning others and politicizing everything and speaking for god (which the other guys you mention do).

  6. is that donald miller, author of blue like jazz, etc?
    i couldn’t tell.. saw him at nywc, but he looks so clean cut…not that it’s bad, but i couldn’t tell.

  7. good point marko. i am still working this stuff out. that’s why i thought i would ask instead assume. thanks for the insight. that gives me something to think about.

    yeah, donald does seem to clean up good. lol.

  8. Am I the only one that does not see this as “fantastic” or amazing because it was just a man reading a teleprompter?

    Marko, do you know whether or not Donald actually wrote what he “prayed”?

  9. jen, i’m sure you’re not the only one who doesn’t see it as fantastic. plenty have been angry with miller for doing this! and, of course, plenty wouldn’t like what he said in his prayer.

    yes, of course, he wrote the prayer. a stage like that would expect it to be written and read from a teleprompter, jen. they wouldn’t go much for extemporaneous (in other words, donald would have been expected to write the prayer, submit it for approval, then read that approved version).

  10. I love that either party would ask a Christian leader to pray at their event. Love it, love it, love it. Miller’s presence at the DNC isn’t an endorsement, but IMHO his prayer totally tipped his hand, and felt political.

    “Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left.”
    …That sounds like a “jesus first, politics second” kind of prayer. Good stuff.

    “Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.”

    “Hep us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education.”

    “Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony.”

    …that sounds like politics to me. And I’m not saying I’m against those views, it just shows an obvious political agenda in his prayer which is exactly what we have been saddened to see in leaders of far religious right in the past.

    I hope we don’t become guilty of doing the same thing the previous generation of Christian leaders have done but somehow decide it’s okay this time around because we happen to agree with their positions.

    Imagine our concern if John MacArthur prayed at the RNC and included in his prayer, “Give us the courage to drill offshore so we will no longer be at the mercy of radical Islamic nations.”

    …Hey, I’m just sayin’.

  11. KJ,

    The difference between Donald Millers actually prayer and your hypothetical about John MacArthur are in to different statospheres.

    Everything that Donald prayed can be supported biblically. However your hypothetical is loaded with so much rhetoric and stereotype of course no one would take it seriously.

    …Hey, I’m just sayin’

  12. Chris,
    I totally disagree. “Help us pay teachers what they deserve” is just as politically loaded as a prayer about offshore drilling. It may be a bit more compassionate, but just as political. There are lots and lots and lots of other professions that are under-paid, but those aren’t “hot buttons” for democrats. Obviously, Donald Miller picked that particular profession because of his audience.

    As for rhetoric, of course my hypothetical was full of rhetoric. But Donald’s REAL prayer was, too. If “Corporate Gluttony” doesn’t fit the definition of rhetoric, then I’m not sure what does.

    “Everything Donald Miller prayed can be supported biblicaly” isn’t any more true than saying everything Jerry Falwell would pray at RNC could be supported biblicaly. We just happen to like the issues Donald miller is praying about more (at least I do) so we give him a pass.

    I’m merely suggesting that as our generation of Christian leaders takes the mantle we don’t slip into same old stripes but of a new color.

  13. “I hope we don’t become guilty of doing the same thing the previous generation of Christian leaders have done but somehow decide it’s okay this time around because we happen to agree with their positions.”

    Well said, kj, but very naive, I think. Do we think we are really any better than those that came before us? Miller thinks he is “doing good”. So did Falwell. So did a lot of well-meaning people. We don’t have the answers for these issues any more than did the previous generation.

    Sorry all, but this situation is no different than praying for your favorite team to win the big game. Don was clearly partisan, which is fine. He has the right to his opinions and the expression thereof. But to say that either party has a lock on compassion or biblical conformity is silly, on par with saying that fish is better for you than chicken.

    For my money, religious leaders of all stripes would do better to keep their voices away from partisan venues.

  14. i wish religious leaders were all over partisan venues. and secular venues and nonpartisan venues and sports venues and grocery store venues and bookstore venues and vacation venues… why not?
    if Christians, leaders included, won’t do anything but complain about politics then we aren’t being part of the solution, but part of the problem.

  15. “why not?”

    Well, first because no political venue offers idealogical clarity. So we appear contradcitory and hypocritical when we publically endorse either side. Which issue is more important, anti-war or anti-abortion? Both? Right. Doesn’t play well to the cameras. How about divorce? Bad for a candidate? Good? Who cares, he’s the guy? Scandal? Freedom from a bad relationship? All of the above? Pin that down, I dare you.

    Then think about the temptation of power and influence. No one, and I mean no one, can resist the cheering crowds, the responsive followers, and the insular cocoon of thought that surrounds public political venues. It becomes about the energy, the moment, the response, and not about the glory of God. I don’t care who the person is, NO ONE can resist the pull of that environment, and it skews thought and message.

    And are these the biggest stories? Public policy, no matter how well thought out, always, always, has unintended consequences that affect things negatively. Go ahead and pay teachers more, and then taxes go up to afford it, and then districts that can raise more taxes get better teachers, but some people get in to teaching just for the money and so the quality suffers, and things just aren’t that different than they used to be, and remember that religious guy who thought this was a good idea? We associate ourselves with ideas that solve one problem and create more. Politics is NOT the solution to the problems we face. At best it is a stopgap measure to try and manage a sinful world.

    Managing a sinful world is best done person-to-person, rather than through a partisan venue.

    More reasons occur to me, but this is getting long. I am not saying we shouldn’t have politcal convictions; I am saying religious leaders should not be so willing to endorse specific candidates and make broad public politcal/theological statements. It is divisive and ineffective.

  16. Adam h – I want your comments, but, since you’re using a fake email address, they’re getting caught in my spam filter. Pls just use a real email address if you’d like to be a part of discussion on this blog.

  17. KJ,

    I certainly get what you’re saying I just happen to want to believe that Donald Miller prayed his heart. Just like I would want to believe that John MacArthur prayed his. We all pray for that which we believe in. Unfortunately it doesn’t always line up with the heart of God or his word.

    As I’ve often said from the pulpit “We all pray for Gods will right up to the point that it runs counter to our will.”

  18. i believe that if we aren’t willing to be part of the solution, then we are part of the problem. yes, that’s very cliche, but also true.
    i do not believe that churches should be putting campaign signs in the yard. i do not believe pastors should tell the congregation how to vote. i do believe that we(Christians) should champion candidates who are about change for the better–whatever party they may be from.
    i want everything donald miller prayed for in the prayer. nothing stood out as an atrocity against humanity. weren’t they all good things to pray for? that they also happened to align with the democrat party line isn’t a shocker. i would assume that mr. miller has the integrity to not have prayed for something against his will or against his beliefe.
    i’m thankful this presidential election that the choices are better than in many years past(not the supposed lesser of two evils). i’m thankful that God is getting talked about during the campaign. i’m thankful that someone in the dnc thought that prayer at the convention would be a good idea.

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