Barry Black, the 62nd chaplain of the United States Senate, opened the June 18, 2018 Senate session with a prayer for justice, righteousness, love, and forgiveness in the midst of the crisis at the border. Reports indicate that since early May 2018, over 2,300 children have been separated from their parents.
Chaplain Black, who is the first African-American and the first Seventh-day Adventist to hold this office, asked God to “use our senators to cause justice to roll down like waters.” He continued saying, “as children are being separated from their parents, remind us to love our neighbors as ourselves” and to “protect the most vulnerable in our world.”
According to the Senate website, for the past 207 years all Senate sessions have opened with prayer, “strongly affirming the Senate’s faith in God as Sovereign Lord of our Nation.” Though it honors “the historic separation of Church and State,” the Senate does not believe in a separation of “God and State.” In addition to daily prayer, Chaplain Black also acts as spiritual advisor and counselor to the senators, their families, and their staffs, which totals 6,000 people. The Senate website notes that the Office of the Chaplain is nonpartisan, nonpolitical, and nonsectarian.
The full prayer is printed below with permission from the Office of the Senate Chaplain:
Let us pray. Loving God, whose ways are clearly seen as the heavens declare your glory, We celebrate your faithfulness. Lord, we see around us change and decay, but you are changeless. We pray for our lawmakers, for our nation and its leaders, And for all the nations of this Earth. Through the power of your spirit, use our senators to cause justice to roll down like waters, And righteousness like a mighty stream. As children are being separated from their parents, Remind us to love our neighbors as ourselves, And to protect the most vulnerable in our world. May we claim afresh your forgiving and transforming power, Becoming instruments of your love in our world. We pray in your great name, Amen.
The prayer is also available to watch online, courtesy of ABC News:
Alisa Williams is managing editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.
Image credit: Video still / ABC News
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