The Idaho State Senate starts each working day with roll call for attendance, the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer (Rule 4). This prayer is usually offered by the chaplain, a taxpayer paid employee of the Senate. This practice has been defended in a US Supreme Court decision (Marsh v Chambers 1983). There was a more recent Supreme Court decision that upheld a city council offering prayers. Right after that the St. Maries city council considered having a prayer before their meetings, but eventually decided against it. I like prayers before deliberating important work. I believe they can inspire us.
At times the Idaho Senate will have a guest offer prayer; indeed the Hindu prayer offered in 2015 got some national news when a few Senators could not find listening to such tolerable. In fact, I once gave the prayer in my first year (2011) in the Senate. It had been a very contentious year, so I wanted to inspire; I don’t know if I did. I was not asked to return. But listening to these prayers by various chaplains for the last six sessions I was moved to compose some I considered might be appropriate. Since I will not be returning to the Senate this year, I share them here.
Prayers can be found on the main page by searching “Senate Prayers” or by clicking on the links below: