Delivered at the Cleveland Clinic Interfaith Prayer Breakfast by the Rev. Dr. Shawnthea Monroe
Holy, Creator God: with a word, you called the world into being. You cast the stars and the planets into the sky, set the sun and moon in the heavens, sketched the orbits of the planets. You are the architect of all creation. And you are the God of this city. Your care is extended not just to Parma or Lakewood, Solon or Elyria. You are the God of the Heights and the Flats; the God of the moving Cuyahoga and the mighty Erie; the God of the Eastside, the Westside and everything in between. We pray for this great city and ask your blessing upon it.
Holy One, you see this historic city as is was – a place of welcome and possibility, industry and culture, education and healing, influence and power. Now you look upon Cleveland in distress: our crumbling bridges, empty buildings, and blighted neighborhoods cry out to you. We have been overtaken with self-concern and a spirit of scarcity, separating ourselves by townships and municipalities, and turning deaf ear to the grim realities faced by our brothers and sisters.
Yet you are the God of the future, and your vision for Cleveland is of a city restored. Rekindle in our hearts a love for this city, gracious God. May the words of the prophet Jeremiah inspire us to action: “Seek the welfare of the city where I am sending you, for in its welfare you shall find your own.” Pour out your spirit upon Cleveland, O God. Through your spirit, may we renew the dreams of immigrants, fulfill the hope of the poor, and seek the welfare of all children. We have faith in you, our Lord, and we have faith in the future Cleveland and her people. This is future conceived by prayer and achieved by hard work and unity of purpose. This is a future as bright as our past, a future that is not a gamble we take but a promise we make to ourselves and all generations to come. I pray all this in Jesus’ name. Amen.