where character counts and integrity is the keystone



I was listening to “Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution”, by Richard Beeman. In the book he referenced a point in the proceedings where Benjamin Franklin suggested that they start the daily session with prayer. He reminded the representatives that when he and the other Founding Fathers were working to resolve the issues with the King George III and then working on the Declaration of Independence they started each day with prayer. I found this copy of the first prayer here.

First Prayer of the Continental Congress, 1774

O Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech Thee, on these our American States, who have fled to Thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee. To Thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support, which Thou alone canst give. Take them, therefore, Heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care; give them wisdom in Council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness of their Cause and if they persist in their sanguinary purposes, of own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved hands in the day of battle!

Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst the people. Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds; shower down on them and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come. All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior.


Reverend Jacob Duché
Rector of Christ Church of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
September 7, 1774, 9 o’clock a.m.

Today each daily session of Congress starts with prayer and you can find the House of Representatives archives here and the Senate chaplains page is here.

My point is this, prayer should be an important part of our day. Each day should start in prayer and gratitude to our creator. Christ taught in the scriptures:

  • Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
  • Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Christ instructs us to seek His council and to do it always. That sounds hard because we have to work and take care of our families; we have a myriad of different responsibilities. This is something that we have to work on, it only comes after years of practice. I don’t mean to suggest that I am an expert, just that I am working on this myself.

Prayer is a simple act of humility. Where we bow before our creator and convey those things on our hearts and in our minds. We talk about our concerns and seek to know how to handle the challenges that we are facing. We can receive answers by the reading of scriptures or even by the Holy Ghost. Christ taught, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you”. (John 14:26

Prayer, make it part of your day.

iron wil