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The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Message from the Chaplain
The Reverend Daniel P. Coughlin

Photograph of The Reverend Daniel P. CoughlinTo serve as Chaplain for the U.S. House of Representatives is truly an honor and a privilege. To be both a minister of the Lord and an officer serving the United States government responds to a twofold call to serve others and offer prayer that unites Heaven and Earth.

With 435 Members in the House and their staffs, plus all the other wonderful people who serve here with committee work or in the Chamber, including teenage Pages, my pastoral duties are many and varied. My goal is to meet the needs of this working community on a personal level. The problems that weigh on hearts and the confusion that at times blocks clarity of thinking become my concerns.

The formal prayer before each legislative session of Congress, and even before days of pro forma sessions, casts a light on the day that awakens faith and calls forth a nation to stand with its leaders and affirm: “In God We Trust.” But daily prayer for the Members of the House cannot end there.

I ask people across this great country to join me in praying for the Members of the House of Representatives. Know the Member of your congressional district by name and raise his or her name before God each day with us here in the nation’s capital.

Pray for me, also, that I may be always rooted in prayer and a good instrument for accomplishing God’s holy will here. Only by being free in the Spirit can I serve all the people here, regardless of their faith persuasion or denomination. Only by listening attentively to each person can I offer good counsel, encouragement, and gentle correction.

Thank you for your interest in and support of the Members of the House.

Opening Prayer

11/20/2008
Reverend Daniel P. Coughlin

Lord God, in You is light and salvation. Because You have compassion on our darkness, we always live with expectations of a new day. Be ever present and shed Your light upon the Members of Congress.

When confronted by the complexity of problems to be addressed, grant single–mindedness and focus on justice. When confused by many voices of concern and advice, let the truth of Your Word be heard. When aware of limitations and the passing of time, provide patience and understanding of others and the ability to seize the present moment to accomplish Your Holy Will. For You are ever–faithful, God with us, now and forever.

Amen.

Thought of the Day

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when others dwell in unity. Psalm 133:1
O God, quicken our spirits so that we will know the blessings of living together in unity and peace. We have our personal aspirations and ideas of what is best, yet may we know the satisfaction from sharing our common concerns and experiencing the joy of mutual accomplishment.
Teach us to treat one another with respect and honor as we keep our vision to those noble objectives that are our common heritage. This we pray, O Lord. Amen.”

—Rev. James D. Ford
Past House Chaplain, 9/14/1979