My father served as an Air Force Chaplain for more than 20 years. When he was serving in Bolling Air Force Base, Washington DC, he got to know Senator Mark Hatfield. Hatfield arranged for him to open the Senate on April 5, 1984 with prayer. With a Masters degree in Political Science as well as a Master of Divinity, he regularly combined religion and politics in his personal life. In this case, he was able to combine the two in his professional life. Fortunately the prayer was printed in full in the minutes of the Senate session that day. I stumbled across these documents yesterday and they seemed fitting for election day. I share his prayer with you here:
Eternal God, Creator and Sustainer of each person and each nation, we bow to acknowledge Your sovereignty over us as a people. We know that whatever we do that is not within Your will is futile and counterproductive. We know as well that that which is Your will for us abounds beyond our wildest hopes. Your revelation of Yourself to us has been enough that we know quite well what You would have us do. We understand the goals that You have set before us. We have articulated them in majestic terms in our national documents. So we do not so much pray for wisdom and understanding as we do for courage to do that which we already comprehend. Having received Your directions for our lives, let us have the humility to put aside selfish goals in preference for those unselfish ones which best serve your kingdom. If we can do that, then we shall be known not for personal achievement, but for the shared good of all our people, and through them, the well-being of the wide world around us. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.
Chaplain Colonel James W. Chapman. Thursday, April 5, 1984