Senate Prayers

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:

First Senate Prayer (2011)

Senate Prayer for Personal Peace

Senate Prayer Before Debate

Prayer Before the Difficult Vote

Prayer Before Townhall Meetings

Senate Prayer for the Roll Call Vote

Prayer for Service

Prayer for Parliamentary Procedure

Legislators Prayer for the Press