|Rev. Jay Therrell|
WASHINGTON, D.C.-- As guest chaplain, the Rev. Jay Therrell, senior pastor at Cape Coral First UMC, gave the opening prayer before the U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 30 at the invitation of his district’s representative, Rep .Connie Mack (R).
Therrell said he believes that he was invited to give the invocation as a tribute not to him, but to the efforts his church congregation has made to better the community it serves. In the last year, the church completed a $1.5 million construction project, added jobs with a preschool and carried out various other ministries that benefit an area hard hit by the local economy downturn, he said.
“It was a wonderful day, just over the top,” said Therrell of his experience at the House of Representatives, a day he shared with his wife and son. The prayer was not the only part of the day that made an impression on him, Therrell said, although standing at the spot where the President stands when he delivers messages to Congress was very exciting.
“I met quite a few--maybe a dozen representatives--and I was struck by how open they were in sharing their faith…Rep. Jeff Duncan from S.C. took us to the House’s private chapel and explained that they actually use the chapel and pray about legislation. It was a very hope filled experience,” said Therrell.
Before the event, Therrell’s congressman, Rep. Mack, had issued a statement that said, “Through his church, the reverend and his congregation have fostered a spirit of service for the poor and those in need, the youth and children, and so many looking for spiritual fulfillment. It will be an honor to accompany Rev. Therrell to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to pray for our country, leaders and citizens at a time when we need those prayers most.”
As Therrell prayed in Washington, “As we enter this season of hope, please bless the Congress and all of our leaders with Your guidance to make decisions filled with Your love. God, please continue to bless America, but please help America to bless You.”
Click here for a video of Rev. Therrell 's opening prayer. Under "floor summary" on the right, scroll down to 12:00 p.m. and click the time for the video to load the opening prayer.
Rev. Therrell's prayer:
Your Word says that “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded….” Today, we offer our gratitude for the blessings of freedom You have given our nation. You have blessed us with much. Acknowledging our blessings, we pray that you would continue to remind us that America has been blessed to be a blessing to others.
Grant the members of this House of Representatives Your wisdom and grace to provide leadership at home and around the world. Help our country to continue to be a light to everyone by pointing all people to true freedom and justice that can only come from You.
As we enter this season of hope, please bless this Congress and all of our leaders with Your guidance to make decisions filled with Your love. God, please continue to bless America, but please help America to bless You.
We ask these things in the name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.