Weaver prays

Pastor Steve Weaver prayed the invocation on the first day of the 2021 General Assembly Session in the Kentucky House of Representatives on Tuesday.

An invocation greeted representatives in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Kentucky House of Representatives. They couldn’t have been more different.

The prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives on Sunday has caused quite a stir on social media and in news cycles. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., an ordained United Methodist pastor, opened the 117th Congress with the invocation.

Maybe you’ve heard about the closing of his prayer, when he signed off by using the phrase “Amen and a women.”

Here’s what you might have missed.

The prayer began by being direct to the Lord, and Cleaver even quoted from the Bible during the prayer. This might lead one to believe he was praying to the Christian God since he is a United Methodist.

However, near the end of the prayer, he directed it to “the monotheistic God, Brahma and god known by many different names and many different faiths.”

Brahma is the Hindu creator god credited with being the first god.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard a Methodist pastor begin a prayer to the God of the Bible and redirect it to a Hindu god before all is said and done.

Maybe Kentucky is farther from Washington than we realize.

On Tuesday, Steve Weaver, senior pastor of Farmdale Baptist Church near Frankfort, was asked to open the House’s 2021 General Assembly Session. Weaver also represents Kentucky Baptists as a state minister for Capitol Commission.

Since you won’t hear his prayer on any of the many TV networks, we thought we’d share it with you through Kentucky Today.

Our Great God,

We bow before you today on a day in which we should all be humbled before you. This past year has revealed to us how frail we are as humans — in our Commonwealth, our nation, and our world. A microscopic virus cell 3.5 trillionth of an inch in diameter has crippled the economies of the world and disrupted our way of life in so many ways. But even as the hymn writer confessed that we are “frail children of dust and feeble as frail,” he continued with “In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail.”

And so we come to You, the Creator of all things. You alone are the God who made the heavens and the earth. And we come to You, the Controller of all things. Nothing is outside of your sovereign control and care. We come to You, the Conqueror of all things.

We pray to you recognizing that you are in control over all things. There is not one maverick molecule in the universe. All planets, stars, comets, molecules, microbes, and viruses are under your sovereign control. You work all things after the counsel of your will. None can stay your hand or say what doest thou.

We acknowledge that not only are you sovereign, but you are a loving father over creation, and especially to those who know You. Not one bird can fall from the sky or one hair from our head without you knowing and caring. You knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. You know our bodies better than we know our bodies. You know disease better than doctors know disease and, ultimately, we rest in your loving, sovereign care.

We also thank you that you have given us as human beings the ability to understand disease and infection and how it spreads. Thank you for the medical community that has worked so hard to inform us, advise us, offer treatment, and develop a vaccine to combat COVID-19. Thank you also for civil government which was established by you to protect its citizens. Thank you for Governor Beshear and his leadership during these difficult days. Please give him wisdom and strength as he continues to lead. Thank you for the Kentucky General Assembly as they now convene to fulfill their responsibilities.

Give them wisdom and strength also as they make important decisions balancing concern both for our state’s economy and the financial and physical welfare of our citizens. Most of all we pray for a spirit of wisdom, reasonableness, and cooperation between the House and Senate, between Republicans and Democrats, and between the Legislative and Executive branch in order that all the citizens of this state are served in the best possible manner.

We pray for health and strength for these legislators, their family, and the staff that supports them. Please be with this body this session as they conduct the business of this Commonwealth. Give them peace as many of them are separated from their families and homes in this time of uncertainty. Give each of them your peace that surpasses human understanding.

Most of all we thank you for your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who came into this world of sickness and sin as an expression of your sovereign plan and fatherly love of this world. Thank you that by His sinless life, substitutionary death, and victorious resurrection, He conquered the grave, defeated death, took away death’s sting and, in the words of the author of Hebrews, delivered all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery!

May all who hear these words know peace and comfort in the grace and mercy through faith in the Lord Jesus.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Brandon Porter is editor of Kentucky Today. Kentucky Today is a news publication of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

Brandon Porter is editor of Kentucky Today. Kentucky Today is a news publication of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.