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  • Writer's pictureJoel Harder

Prayer from the OK House Floor | April 2-6

I am privileged from time to time to serve as the Chaplain of the OK House of Representatives. In this capacity, I am invited to offer the invocation each day at the beginning of the session. Each prayer is derived from scripture God impresses upon my heart as an invocation of His presence and blessing upon every member of the House of Representatives.

April 2, 2018

Heavenly Father: Thank you for this day and the sacred privilege to gather in this chamber. Thank you for these representatives – chosen and sent to this legislative body for the very task that is before them now. Protect their homes and families as they are away. I ask you to give both strength and patience – Lord, grant them wisdom and surround them with good counsel. And today we are indeed blessed as the voices of many teachers are heard throughout this building. May we hear now from one more, Qoheleth the Son of David, an ancient King in Jerusalem: “In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity, consider: God has made the one as well as the other… 7:14 [so…] Don’t let your spirit rush to be angry, for anger abides in the heart of fools… 7:9 [But remember that] the end of the matter is better than its beginning; a patient spirit is better than a proud one… 7:8Excerpts from Ecclesiastes 7 God – in this moment, and at this point in the legislative session, we are neither at the beginning nor end of the matter. But in the midst. God I ask you to impart by your power, through your presence, and according to your promises,  a patient spirit filled with the peace, quiet confidence, gracious compassion, and selfless determination to each member of this House of Representatives for the work of this week. And may the word done this day be for the flourishing of all families in communities throughout our state, until we reach the end of the matter. This, in the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.

April 3, 2018

Great and gracious God: You are seated enthroned in the heavens, be high and lifted up, and so exalted in our hearts. The Psalmist writes, “Lord, your word is forever; it is firmly fixed in heaven. 89Your faithfulness is for all generations; You established the earth and it stands firm. 90Let your instruction be my delight, and may we never forget your precepts, for you have given me life through them. 92-93”Excerpts from Psalm 119 I give you thanks and praise you for each of these representatives, members of this body, servants of the people of Oklahoma and of your sovereign will. As they walk in the responsibilities of leadership, in making good legislation, debating and discerning the path forward for our state, draw to their mind the joy even in the struggle. Give them confidence in the foundations you established. Help us all to trust in your faithfulness from generation to generation. May they find a strength that is beyond their own, and a wisdom that is true, tested and timeless. This, in the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.

April 5, 2018

Our God and Father: From whom every good and perfect gift comes. We pause in this moment at the end of this week and before the work that is to be done this day to remember You: Your unfailing love, your faithfulness from day to day, Your victory over sin and death, the redemption, forgiveness, and peace that comes at the name of the Lord. I thank you for each of these representatives – duly elected, sent, and serving in this legislative body. In the midst of many voices – there is often confusion and misunderstanding. In Your grace, you have called out these 101 voices to come together and speak with sincerity, clarity, and conviction. To navigate the way forward for the benefit and flourishing of all in our state. As they continue in this task give them strength and renew them in body, mind and soul. And may they depend on you as the Psalmist did: “Make your ways known to me, LORD; teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; I wait for you all day long. Remember, LORD, your compassion and your faithful love, for they have existed from antiquity. Do not remember the sins of my youth or my acts of rebellion; in keeping with your faithful love, remember me because of your goodness, LORD.”Psalm 25:4-7 This, in the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.

April 6, 2018

Father in Heaven: [intentional pause] In the still of this moment, flood our hearts and minds with your rich blessings. And among them are:
  1. Mercy for those undeserving.

  2. Grace for those most needing.

  3. Wisdom for those asking.

  4. Peace that is beyond understanding. Also, you have blessed us with this nation and our state. With a representative democracy and this legislative body. I thank you, God, for each of these representatives – servant leaders of diverse backgrounds and experience, skills and expertise. Bess them all especially in the task before them. Guard their homes and bless their families. Meet them in the very moment of every need. I pray for them – the same confident cry of God’s blessing found in the 119th Psalm: “Remember your word to your servant; you have given me hope through it. This is my comfort in my [frailty]; Your promise has given me life.”Psalm 119:49-50 This, in the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.

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