Friday, Apr 10, 2020

U.S. Senate Chaplain: ‘Let Your Will Be Done’

Chaplain balances bipartisan alliances with trust in God’s will.

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What do you pray at an impeachment hearing? For Barry Black, a Seventh-day Adventist minister and the longtime chaplain of the US Senate, it’s a simple question. You pray that God’s will be done.

And what do you pray after the US Senate votes to acquit President Donald Trump on two articles of impeachment, as it did on Wednesday afternoon? That same faithful prayer.

“I think the prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane provides us with the model,” Black told CT. “The preamble to saying, ‘Let your will be done’ can be ‘Father, all things are possible for you. If it is possible, let the impeachment trial come out this way, nevertheless, not as I will but let your will be done. That’s the basic setup, but the dominant thematic focus should always be ‘Let your will be done.’”

The minister with the signature bow tie and deep preacher’s cadence says that in the middle of the polarization and partisan sniping, he has urged senators and staff on both sides to seek God’s will.

People have been listening closely to Black’s prayers as the Senate has battled over the historic impeachment vote. He often draws powerful phrases from his daily devotions and hours of scriptural studies, as he seeks to offer spiritual guidance on Capitol Hill.

His petitions at the opening of the trial went viral. Before a full chamber of lawmakers in December, Black prayed the senators might be “bold as lions,” full of “moral discernment to be used for your glory.” He concluded with a line that caught a lot of attention: “They can’t ignore you and get away with it,” he said, “for we always reap what we sow.”

Not Guilty Verdict

The Senate voted to acquit Trump on the two articles of impeachment Wednesday. They voted mostly along party lines, rejecting the abuse of power charge 52 to 48, and the obstruction of Congress charge 53 to 47. Only Senator Mitt Romney, the Republican from Utah, broke ranks, voting to convict Trump on abuse of power …

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