It was 10 days ago that House Speaker John Boehner declared that “God only knows” how Congress would resolve the fiscal cliff. It’s still not clear. But with lawmakers still shy of an accord, Senate Chaplain Barry Black has taken to opening the Senate’s session each of the last two days with some pointed words of wisdom and requests for divine inspiration for the deadlocked chamber.
On Sunday, he asked God to “look with favor on our nation and save us from self-inflicted wounds.” Black followed up on Monday asking the Lord to lift lawmakers "from the darkness of hopelessness so that they may take steps toward your light.”
Here are the complete opening prayers that Black has offered on the last two days of 2012:
Let us pray. Might God have mercy upon us because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, let us feel your presence today on Capitol Hill. As we gather with so much work left undone, guide our lawmakers with your wisdom. Lord, show them the right thing to do and give them the courage to do it. Be their shelter in the midst of the storm regardless of how high the waters rise. When they feel exhausted, remind them of the great sufficiency of your grace. Look with favor on our nation and save us from self-inflicted wounds. We pray in your strong name. Amen.
Let us pray. Oh mighty God, we praise your name. You are high over all the nations and your glory is greater than the heavens. Let your spirit move our lawmakers to do your will. Teach them valuable lessons from hardships and adversities as they work to be worthy of the sacrifices of those who have already given so much for freedom. Lift them from the darkness of hopelessness so that they may take steps toward your light. May your presence and grace bring comfort as you inspire them to choose what is right and just. Make they take the tide that leads to fortune rather than risk our national voyage bound in shallows and in miseries. We pray in your powerful name. Amen.