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House chaplain prays to ‘cast out all spirits of darkness from this chamber’

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Between voting to condemn President Trump’s tweets for racism and voting against impeaching him, it’s been a divisive and busy week in the US House of Representatives.
But there’s usually one moment of unity on Capitol Hill each day. As is the custom since 1789, every session is opened by the House Chaplain.

Thursday morning, Rev. Patrick J Conroy, the current House Chaplain, offered a special opening prayer for the chamber.

In his prayer, which only lasted a little more than two minutes, he cast out “spirits of darkness” from the chamber. His prayer was shared on CSPAN and was also shared to social media.

“This has been a difficult and contentious week in which darker spirits seem to have been at play in the people’s house,” Conroy prayed. “In Your most holy name, I now cast out all spirits of darkness from this chamber, spirits not from You. I cast out the spirit of discouragement which deadens the hope of those who are of goodwill. I cast out the spirit of petty divisiveness, which clouds the sense and desires to be of fruitful productivity in addressing the issues more appropriately before this House.”

“I cast out any sadness brought on by the frustration of dealing with matters detrimental to the honorable work each member has been called to engage in,” the chaplain continued. “Pour out O Lord Your sacred oil as You did upon Aaron of old. Anoint Your servants here in the House with a healing balm to comfort and renew the souls of all in this assembly.”

“May Your Spirit of wisdom and patience be sent upon all,” Conroy asked. “So that any spirit of darkness might have no place in our midst. Rather, let Your Spirit of comity, of brother and sisterhood, and love of our nation, and of all colleagues in this chamber, empower our better angels to be at play in the common work to be done for the benefit of all of Your people.”

“May all that is done within the People’s House be for Your greater honor and glory. Amen,” Conroy concluded.

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