Saturday, February 11, 2012

Prayers in the US Congress

Please find below two prayers in the US House of Representatives. One prayer was prayed the day I visited the US Congress 03 February 2012. The other prayer was the first prayer of the Continental Congress in 1774. 

"Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation."

By Leo van Doesburg &  Theresa Creel

Opening Prayer, at the House of Representatives, 3 February 2012
Reverend Cal LeMon
First and Calvary Presbyterian Church

God…as You know, these walls have echoed with Your name for centuries.

You see, God, we know your name because we are Your nation, Your people. We printed Your name on our dollar bills, chiseled them into our granite walls and regularly include Your name in prayers before Friday night high school football games.

Therefore, since You are God, the Prince of Peace, I ask You to quell the need in this room to dominate, degrade and denigrate.

I ask You, God, the Healer, to rub the salve of your Holy Spirit into our long–festering political wounds.

I ask You, God, the Creator to whisper new words, new possibilities and new solutions up and down these aisles.

Teach us, when we drop Your name, we must also be ready to drop to our knees…and learn, from You, how to be one Nation…under God…with liberty and justice for everyone. Amen

First Prayer of the Continental Congress, 7 September 1774

Reverend Jacob Duché
Rector of Christ Church of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

O Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech Thee, on these our American States, who have fled to Thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee. To Thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support, which Thou alone canst give. Take them, therefore, Heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care; give them wisdom in Council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness of their Cause and if they persist in their sanguinary purposes, of own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved hands in the day of battle! 

Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst the people. Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds; shower down on them and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come. All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior.

September 7, 1774, 9 o’clock a.m.

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