The Washington Post

Senate chaplain prays for ‘fiscal cliff’ deal

Senate Chaplain Barry Black. (Drew Angerer -- AP)

The Senate opens every morning it is in session with a simple prayer, usually focused on requests of the Almighty for comity, progress, and swift, peaceful resolution of the issues facing senators.

So how does one pray for a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" with 13 hours to go? Especially when he's been praying for a resolution for the better part of two years.

A longtime Navy chaplain and Seventh-Day Adventist minister, Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black launched Monday's proceedings by praying for senators to "take the tide that leads to fortune, rather than risk a national voyage bound in shadows and in miseries."

His full prayer appears below:

Let us Pray.

Almighty 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.

May they take the tide that leads to fortune, rather than risk a national voyage bound in shadows and in miseries.

We pray in your powerful name. Amen.


Senate Chaplain puts debt debate into fervent context (July 31, 2011)

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The New Hampshire primary is Tuesday. Get caught up on the race.
The Post's Dan Balz says ...
This was supposed to be the strongest Republican presidential field in memory, but cracks are showing. At Saturday night's debate, Marco Rubio withered in the face of unyielding attacks from Chris Christie, drawing attention to the biggest question about his candidacy: Is he ready to be president? How much the debate will affect Rubio's standing Tuesday is anybody's guess. But even if he does well, the question about his readiness to serve as president and to go up against Clinton, if she is the Democratic nominee, will linger.
Play Video
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote, but Marco Rubio has recently seen a jump in his support, according to polls.
New Hampshire polling averages
A victory in New Hampshire revitalized Hillary Clinton's demoralized campaign in 2008. But this time, she's trailing Bernie Sanders, from neighboring Vermont. She left the state Sunday to go to Flint, Mich., where a cost-saving decision led to poisonous levels of lead in the water of the poor, heavily black, rust-belt city. 
55% 40%
Play Video
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.