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Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. Senate: Rabbi Samuel Thurman on 26 February 1945

Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Samuel Thurman, of the United Hebrew Temple, St. Louis, Missouri
Sponsor: n/a
Date of Prayer: 26 February 1945


Contribute a translationSource (English)
Almighty and Merciful God:
Humbly we approach Thee,
for Thou art mighty,
yet also with abiding faith in Thy mercy.
We offer Thee thanksgiving for all the bounty
which Thou hast bestowed upon our blessed land,
its fruitful fields,
its lofty mountains,
its richly flowing rivers,
its peaceful valleys.
All the more reason for our hearts
being heavy laden with anxiety and sorrow
that the flower of our youth,
the strong and the brave,
the free sons and daughters of America,
must now be offering themselves
in fierce and cruel combat
against enemies that either do not know Thee
or have forgotten Thee and Thy commandments.
They scoff at Thy power
and scorn Thy law of justice and righteousness.
Grant, O Lord,
speedy victory to our brave fighting forces—
a victory that shall bring in
a new order of fellowship and faith
and lasting justice and peace.
We ask Thy blessing
on these the chosen representatives of sovereign States,
assembled in earnest and devoted council
to deliberate and legislate for the good and welfare
of all the people of these United States.
Guide them by Thy wisdom
and sustain them by Thy power
that they may act in unity of purpose.
Preserve them from the pitfalls of discord
which may arise from sincere and honest difference of opinion
and native temperament.
Strengthen in all of us the faith
which is the common heritage of all Americans—
the faith that Thou art the Father of all of us
and that we are all brothers in Thee.
Thou dost not deny the least of us.
How then dare we deny one another?
Make us more conscious of this bond of brotherhood
which is the most sacred token of Thy fatherhood
and is the genius of America and of our democracy.
Bless, O Lord,
all those who guide and serve
the destinies of our Nation—
whom the people have set in authority:
The President,
his counselors and advisers.
Bless this high assembly of chosen leaders.
Lay Thy guiding hand upon him who presides over
this supreme body of lawmakers,
that he may direct its deliberations
with a wisdom matched by his tried honesty,
fairness, and loyalty.
Thus may we at home pursue the tasks of priesthood,
as keepers of the flame of truth and justice.
Thus shall we keep the faith
with those on the battle fronts across the seas—
the faith of America which is the faith
in the brotherhood of justice and righteousness and peace—
the faith in Thee, our God and Father.

This prayer of the guest chaplain was offered in the second month of the first session of the 79th US Congress in the Senate, and published in the Congressional Record, vol. 91, part 2 (1945), page 1403.


Congressional Record-Senate, vol. 91, part 2 (26 February 1945), p. 1403




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