Senate Chaplain Barry Black Closes Historic Joint Session of Congress with Prayer

Seventh-day Adventist Senate Chaplain Barry Black offered the closing prayer on the joint session of Congress in the early hours of Thursday, January 7, 2021. The session, which convened on Wednesday to certify President-elect Biden’s victory, was forced to delay by several hours after violent pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol building.

“Lord of our lives and Sovereign of our beloved nation. We deplore the desecration of the United States Capitol Building, the shedding of innocent blood, the loss of life, and the quagmire of disfunction that threaten our democracy. These tragedies have reminded us that words matter and that the power of life and death is in the tongue,” began Black.

Watch his full prayer below or by clicking here.


Alisa Williams is managing editor of

Image Credit: Video still from The Hill’s coverage.


We invite you to join our community through conversation by commenting below. We ask that you engage in courteous and respectful discourse. You can view our full commenting policy by clicking here.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Words matter.
I think of that old adage
“Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”
How untrue it has proved to be with needless death and destruction.
How sad to have political differences keep people from Jesus.
How disgusting to have people in authority whether in politics or religious groups
that do not know the harm that they can do to the cause of God by their ignorance.
The great Joy is that Christ’s words matter
One Day He will say “Well done My faithful servant”
Then those who have suffered because of verbal abuse by those who should know better
will see the blessings of their patient faithfulness.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 7 days. New replies are no longer allowed.