The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Opening Prayer

Chaplain Margaret Grun Kibben

Almighty and powerful God, our creator and defender, we call upon You this day to speak into the whirlwind of the life–threatening storm surge and catastrophic winds that now bombard the Florida peninsula and have left behind unfathomable destruction in Cuba.
As Hurricane Ian rages, those who are caught in its ravages are filled with dread. Their personal calamity is its own whirlwind around them. In their distress and anguish, they––and we on their behalf––pray to You for their safety and refuge.
For You alone have the power with but a word to cause the tempest to still and the wind and waves to be hushed. Speak Your word. Shine Your light into the darkness of these days.
Listen to these fervent prayers. Deliver the thousands of evacuees from their plight. Lead them to find shelter in You from all that threatens them this day.
And for all the National Guardsmen, first responders, and those who will provide security and offer assistance for yet another natural disaster, we pray for their strength and fortitude. Use them to bring Your hope to those who cannot see their way through the destruction of their homes and their lives.
In Your sovereign and saving name, we pray. Amen.

Thought of the Week

Not to all [people], not to [anyone] always does God give complete abundance. To all sometimes, to some in long stretches of their lives, come the abasement times –times of poverty, times of ignorance, times of friendlessness, times of distrust and doubt; but God does not mean that these times should be like great barren stretches and blanks in our lives only to be travelled over for the sake of what lies beyond. To [them] who, like Paul, know how to be abased, [these abasement times] have their own rich value. They do their own good work.

To have our desire set on nothing absolutely except character, to be glad that God should lead us into any land where there is character to win, –this is the only real explanation of life. [Those who have] it may be more than reconciled to living. [They] may do more than triumph over [their] abasements. [They] may make close friendships with them, so that [they] shall part from them with sorrow when [they] is called to go to the right hand of God where there is no more abasement, nothing but fulness forevermore.

—Phillips Brooks
Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), The Light of the World, and Other Sermons

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