Saturday, September 7, 2013

Who Dat prayer for da Saints' season

Lord of All Saints,

For many decades, the Who Dat Nation has triumphantly sung, "We Want to Be in That Number, When the Saints Go Marching In!" Our song originated among the enslaved Americans, and has taken on added meaning as we look at our lives, our region and our beloved New Orleans Saints.

In the Book of Revelation 7:9, we hear about "A great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands." They were praising you in all your goodness and celebrating their triumph over evil.

When one of the Elders asked, "Who are these wearing white robes and where did they come from?", you let everyone know that, "These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress." They rejoiced with you because they had survived. They were the Saints who were marching in!

Today, Lord, like that great multitude, we stand before you rejoicing because we too have survived our time of great distress. From the devastation of great hurricanes to the unjust disdain of others, we have been attacked on many sides. We have had to stand tall while defending the integrity that made us World Champions. Even though we have had to fight battles on the football field and in the court of public opinion, we have proven that we are modern Saints and we are marching in, too.

We, the Who Dat Nation, have emerged from our distress with smiles on our faces and a renewed drive in our hearts. We are ready to reclaim our rightful place as champions of our division, our conference and the entire National Football League. The world had better watch out because the New Orleans Saints are Marching In!

Today, we call your blessing down upon all who take part in our march. Send down your Holy Spirit with all of your divine gifts to empower the Who Dat Nation to march stronger than ever before.

Send the gift of Wisdom upon Tom and Gayle Benson, Rita Benson LeBlanc, Mickey Loomis and all our staff. Help them to choose wisely the paths down which we march.
Send the gifts of Understanding and Right Judgment to Sean Payton, Joe Vitt, Pete Carmichael, Rob Ryan, Greg McMahon and all our coaches. Allow them to make the right calls that will defend us on the football field and forge new paths to victory.

Send the gifts of Knowledge and Courage to Drew Brees, Zach Strief, Malcolm Jenkins, Curtis Lofton, Thomas Morstead, Will Herring and all of our players. Grant them the necessary grace to play to the best of their abilities and march triumphantly from end zone to end zone.

Send the gifts of Reverence, Wonder and Awe to all of the Who Dat Faithful. Help us to remember that all of our victorious joy comes directly from you. Through your love, we will continue to hold our heads up high as we march with our Saints to the Super Bowl.

Through your grace, St. Francis Cabrini, St. Katherine Drexel, Blessed Francis Seelos, Blessed John Paul II and the Venerable Henriette Delille joined that great multitude in heaven. Through the intercession of our heavenly Saints, may we stand strong in the face of adversity, stand proud in the face of challenge and stand humble in the face of your love.
Together, may we always be in that number When the Saints Go Marching In!

By R. Tony Ricard
Copyright Times-Picayune

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