Bishop Barber invited to open U.S. House legislative session with prayer.

December 15, 2022

Bishop William J. Barber II opened the legislative session in the U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 15th, 2022, with prayer.  He was invited to serve as guest  chaplain of the U.S. House by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, Chaplain Margaret Grun Kibben, DMin., just a few weeks before the 117th congress ends.

Bishop Barber brought words of prayer that contemplated and embodied supplication and intercession to the Spirit of God for love, truth, and justice and asked God to forever remind Members of the House and the nation of what the incarnated example of Jesus and the truths of the bible and the constitution call the nation’s leaders to do on behalf of the people they serve. 

Prior to the legislative session, Bishop Barber said “I am approaching this invitation to pray on behalf of all Members of the House with the solemnity and seriousness it deserves. I will be offering this morning’s prayer in deep reflection on the cries and demands of the least of these, the most deeply impacted people in this country. With me, in spirit, will be poor coal miners in West Virginia, framers in Kansas, the sick the homeless people in the tenderloins of San Francisco, California, workers organizing for fair wages across North Carolina and the South, and all the people who are building a moral movement for a Third Reconstruction in America.”

The prayer:

“Merciful God, help us submit ourselves to the truth of your Word, knowing that what we do only matters and lasts if it is rooted in love for your glory.

Remind us that you are the God who can melt clouds of sin and sadness, and you, O God, can bring down rulers from temporal and finite thrones. We’re thankful you are the same God who lifts the humble. Remind and strengthen us to do the same with whatever power we have.

By your Spirit, don’t let us forget that your mercy for those who fear you. Remind us that to fear you is to align our public deeds with Jesus, who declares, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me to preach good news to the poor.”

Jesus, who said to feed the hungry, heal the sick, care for the least of these, welcome immigrants. It is to align with The prophets, who taught us never to rob the poor of their rights, and to ensure that workers get their just pay.

Help us live out your vision of love, joy, and justice until we can truly sing as though we believe that you, O God, “rule the world with truth and grace, and make the nations prove, the glories of your righteousness… far as the curse is found.” 
Hear our prayer, O Lord. Amen.”

Recorded livestream available here