Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Offers Benediction, Calls for Reconciliation at GOP Convention
Reverend Samuel Rodriguez offered a benediction at the Republican National Convention (RNC) this week, praying that "what America needs most is a fresh outpouring of God's Holy Spirit."
The Hispanic Christian leader, who is the President of National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, was invited to give the benediction in Tampa, Florida this week. He prayed: "Awesome and amazing God we give you praise and declare that where Your Spirit is present there is liberty."
He added, "We understand that in the midst of moral relativism and spiritual apathy, what America needs most is a fresh outpouring of God's Holy Spirit."
Rodriguez's participation at the RNC is expected to help presidential candidate Mitt Romney's profile within the Latino community, which could be key in such a close election year. Various reports have claimed that many from the Latino community have abandoned the Republican Party over its staunch immigration stance over recent elections, but Rodriguez's prominent position at the convention will not go unnoticed among Hispanics.
Rodriguez's organization describes itself as America's largest Hispanic Christian organization, and claims to represent 40,118 member churches across the nation.
The Hispanic leader frequently meets and consults members from both parties in the Congress and participates in White House meetings on social justice, the Latino community in the U.S., as well as moral value issues.
The reverend in this instance chose to focus his prayer on reconciliation.
"Let Your Spirit move us, reconciling sanctification with service, holiness with humility, the image of God with the habits of Christ, righteousness with justice and Billy Graham`s message with Martin Luther King's dream, a dream expressed so eloquently by him on the steps of Lincoln memorial on this very day nearly 50 years ago."
He chose to remind everyone that America stands upon the principle: "God over man and man over government."
He said, "Then together we can declare, that it is not by might nor by power, but by rights granted by You that we are one nation under God."
Rodriguez also dedicated the prayer to those who were facing the devastating affects of Hurricane Isaac along Golf coast. The hurricane has recently weakened to a tropical storm, but it already caused Monday's agenda at the RNC to be canceled as Isaac hit the south Florida region.
"God, let your Spirit protect those touched by the storm called Isaac. They are looking for you for guidance, hope and compassion at the time they are vulnerable and seeking your strength."
Others invited to lead the RNC in prayer included Ralph Reed, Ken Hutchings, Mark DeMoss and Cardinal Timothy Dolan.