I trust you will follow the serious events this week in Washington D.C. On February 20, 1948, Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the United States Senate, opened the day’s session with the following prayer. His words still apply these many years later and they put the spotlight, perhaps in an unwelcome way, upon the heart of officials before God. Lest we blame others, the prayer applies to us all.
“O God, be merciful when we pray with half our heart or listen with half our mind, and pity us that we are torn as we are and bedeviled with compromises. Vainly we long for life without such difficult decisions, yet we know that we have only ourselves to blame for the tensions in which we live. We need to pray that our own eyes be opened to the truth. Deliver us from the reservations that would pray: ‘Thy kingdom come—but not yet; Thy will be done on earth—by other people.’ Help each one of us to see that if Thy Holy Spirit is to lead America, He must be permitted to lead us. If Thy will is to be done, we must do it. O God, most merciful, consider not our cowardice, but forgive our failings. Harken to those prayers of our hearts which come to us in high moments when we forget ourselves and think of Thee. Amen.”