The following prayer was offered by Fr. John A. Peck (see his Orthodox Church of Tomorrow below) at the Prescott (Ariz.) City Council meeting on Sept. 9. Fr. John is pastor of Prescott Orthodox Church, The “Mile High” Mission.
O God, the God of principalities and powers, authorities and dominions, we ask You to send Your Most Holy, Good and Life-Creating Spirit upon this noble assembly, that You may bless what we do, and that we may do what You bless. Strengthen us to labor without partiality or favor for the increase of prosperity to the benefit of all Your people, to establish Your peace and Your justice among men.
Guide us by Your Holy Spirit that we may not tolerate in our midst those who would lie, cheat or steal, who would circumvent justice for the righteous, or reward the transgressor.
For You are the benefactor of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and to You we ascribe glory, together with Your Father, Who is from everlasting, and Your Most Holy, Good and Life-Creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
A little legal background: The constitutionality of the [Congressional] chaplains’ prayers was upheld in 1983 by the Supreme Court (Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783) on the grounds of precedent and tradition. The Court cited the practice going back to the Continental Congress in 1774 and noted that the custom “is deeply embedded in the history and tradition of this country” from colonial times and the founding of the republic. Further, the Court held that the use of prayer “has become part of the fabric of our society,” coexisting with “the principles of disestablishment and religious freedom.”