29 Mar The UB Preacher in the Statehouse
Mike Brown, pastor of Franklin UB church in New Albany, Ohio, gave a prayer to open the Ohio House of Representatives session at the Statehouse on March 27, 2012. He was invited by his state representative.
Brown noted that, a couple of years ago, there was a lot of controversy from the Speaker of the House regarding prayer content, including the use of the name Jesus. He was told by an aide to the representative that if he wanted the prayer to be recorded in the official Statehouse history, he had to submit the prayer in writing and get it approved by the Speaker’s office.
“My nature is a bit rebellious at times,” Brown said. “I did not want to submit it, and considered declining the offer to pray. But I talked with another pastor who has prayed at the Statehouse. He said: ‘Do it. Use the name Lord and let them interpret it as they want. Besides, this is a Daniel moment.’ Good advice…so I did.”
Here is Mike Brown’s prayer:
Dear Father in heaven and over all the earth, we hold this truth to be self-evident: that all men, women, and children are created equal. Red and yellow, black, brown and white, we are all precious in your sight. You love the little children and all the people of the world.
I pray today that in Ohio we not only believe but we live our state motto: “With God All Things Are Possible” Your amazing grace has given us this great State and this great nation. One nation under God, we pray that both this state and this nation will always be indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
In every hallway, every corridor, in every room and every chamber of this magnificent Statehouse, let freedom ring and justice reign. Guide, guard, and give every State Representative the wisdom to make the best decision for their constituents and for the citizens of the state of Ohio. And while they are here away from their families, making such a great sacrifice, may their families never be away from their heart. Extend your grace to their families and also give their families great patience as their husband or wife, mother or father, son or daughter serves in this important capacity. Throughout all the travel, please be sure to allow them to arrive back home safely.
Until the very last day of the 129th General Assembly, may the laws of man always be governed by the laws of God, for you are the supreme Governor of the universe, you are the God in whom we must trust. In the name of the Lord I pray, Amen.