Prayer warriors stood outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, the National Day of Prayer, to lift up America.
Rob Schenck led a delegation of clergy and church representatives to pray on the high court's iconic marbled West Plaza. The daybreak prayer service, held just after sunrise, is the only approved observance of the National Day of Prayer at the seat of the judicial branch of the federal government.
The nine-member delegation followed a special order of service developed for the National Day of Prayer. The service opened with a recitation of a part of the cry announced by the marshal of the Supreme Court each time the justices sit to hear a case: "God save the United States and this honorable court."
The program included Bible readings and prayers related to government and to specific elected and appointed officials by name, by office and by branch. For example, the prayer for the president, offered aloud by one of the participants, was:
"Lord God Almighty, on this National Day of Prayer, we bring before you Barack Obama, president of the United States. Grant to him a desire to know You fully, a humility to acknowledge Your rulership over his life and an appreciation for Your great gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Enlighten the understanding of our president, that he might receive Your wisdom, respect Your laws and faithfully execute Your will through his public office and in his personal life.
"Grant our president wisdom, knowledge, insight and understanding, for they are more profitable than silver and gold; cause him to always and in every way trust ultimately and absolutely in You. Convict our president of sin and of righteousness and turn his heart and mind to You in repentance and in humble obedience.
"Provide for and protect our president and his family as they look to You alone as their defender. We commit President Barack Obama into Your constant care and keeping, for we ask these things in the mighty name of Jesus. For just and true are Your ways, King of the nations. Amen."
Prayers were offered by name for Speaker of the House John Boehner; Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, respectively; Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts; and for each of the associate justices of the Supreme Court.
General prayers were offered for all members of each of the three branches of the federal government and for members of the armed services. The service was closed with the recitation of the Lord's Prayer as the members of the delegation knelt. The service lasted 20 minutes.