His voice was silenced half a century ago at a far too young age, but his words still resonate for many today. For Peter Marshall, the Scottish immigrant who rose to become the pastor of one of Washington’s largest churches and the Chaplain of the United States Senate, had a way of speaking that communicated both his convictions and his compassion. It’s clear that Dr. Marshall was on intimate terms with God, which is perhaps why his Senate prayers became widely requested.
On this day, his “Prayer Before a National Election” is worth reading and remembering:
“Lord Jesus, we ask Thee to guide the people of this nation as they exercise their dearly bought privilege of franchise. May it neither be ignored unthinkingly nor undertaken lightly. As citizens all over this land go to the ballot boxes, give to them a high sense of privilege and joyous responsibility. Help those who are about to be elected to public office to come to understand the real source of their mandate—a mandate given by no party machine, received at no polling booth, but given by God; a mandate to govern wisely and well; a mandate to represent God and truth at the heart of the nation; a mandate to do good in the name of Him under whom this Republic was established. We ask Thee to lead America in the paths where Thou wouldst have her walk, to do the tasks which Thou has hast laid before her. So may we together seek happiness for all our citizens in the name of Him who created us all equal in His sight, and therefore brothers. Amen.”
And sisters, too, we might add.
Chap, thanks for sharing this, very appropriate prayer. It’s been a long time since I’ve thought of Peter Marshall, but he did have an impact on the Senate and the politicians in general in Washington during his service there.
Amen, and amen.