WASHINGTON — Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black opened the Senate session on Thursday, the third day of the government shutdown, with a prayer to God to “save us from the madness,” and a cautionary word for lawmakers who have thus far failed to come to an agreement to end the shutdown.
“Have mercy upon us, oh God, and save us from the madness,” Black prayed. “We acknowledge our transgressions, our shortcomings, our smugness, our selfishness, and our pride. Create in us clean hearts, oh God, and renew a right spirit within us.”
“Deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable,” he went on.”Remove the burdens of those who are the collateral damage of this government shutdown, transforming negatives into positives, as you work for the good of those who love you.”
“We pray in your merciful name. Amen.”
The chaplain is nonpartisan, and he often opens the Senate sessions with a prayer relating to the news at hand. Days before the government shutdown, he prayed: “Lord, deliver us from governing by crisis.”