Army Archives

William Booth At The U.S. Capitol

After visiting the White House in 1903, General William Booth was invited to open the U.S. Senate with a prayer. by Major Jason Swain
William Booth

After visiting the White House in 1903 where he met with President Theodore Roosevelt, General William Booth was invited to open the U.S. Senate with a prayer. Here are the excepts of that prayer:

“O Lord God, our Heavenly Father, maker, sustainer and governor of all things, we Thy servants, the work of Thy hands, come into Thy presence this morning to supplicate Thy blessing upon ourselves, upon those dependent upon us, and the world round about us.

“We acknowledge before Thee our obligations for all the good things that we enjoy…Thou hast made a wonderful way and a wonderful contrivance by which we can be regulated, can be saved and can be rescued from the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Thou hast made salvation and happiness, goodness and truth and love possible to us here and possible to us in the world to come…We not only acknowledge our obligation, but we desire to make some suitable response to it. In what we feel in our innermost hearts, in what we think about these matters, no response can be accepted by Thee but what is to be satisfactory to our own conscience and our own judgement here and hereafter, by the rendering of ourselves up as willing sacrifices, and the carrying out of Thy wishes and the doing of Thy blessed will.

We thank Thee that Thou has made it possible for each one of us, when we pray as individuals, to feel the light and truth and power of Thy Holy Spirit, and that through the sacrifices of our Lord we may not only see what we ought to do, but be directed through it not only to begin but to finish, that we may have satisfaction in the last moments of earth and not be discouraged.

And now, Lord, we pray for this great nation, for this great heart of hearts of this mighty country—the very center of its activities, the place where it exercises its power and its strength. We pray for Thy blessing on this great nation. We thank Thee for all Thy goodness to it, and that through Thy loving-kindness it may be not only great and capable of promoting the highest possible degree of happiness and well-being of its own people, but that it may by Thy great grace be made a great power in the world, and make a glorious stand for righteousness and truth and peace and happiness among the nations.

To this end we pray for Thy servant who at the present time is placed at its head; for him and for his family, and for all associated with him; that he may have wisdom and benevolence and courage to enable him to discharge the great and solemn duties that have devolved upon him.

We pray that the men here will reason, that the men here will think, that the men here will plan, that the men here will seek only compliance in those measures and opinions which are wisest and best. Oh, may they seek Thy wisdom, and may they rely on Thy great arm, and may the results of their deliberations end in the direction of Thy glory and the good of mankind…while they are considering matters that are for the welfare of this great people, may they not only consider those who are so circumstanced and environed as to be able to secure those conditions of life that are essential to health and morality and religion, but may they remember those who have perhaps, properly speaking, no representative to voice their sorrows and their toils and their cares. Remember, in Thy infinite mercy, these poor and lost members of the community, and may Thy blessings be upon us all.

May we do our work, may we do it well, may we do it with satisfaction to our own consciences and satisfaction to our laws, so that when we meet again we shall meet in the center of the government of the universe before the Great Throne, and we may have the satisfaction of hearing Thee say to us individually and to those we love, our families, wives and children; ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of the Lord.’ For Jesus Christ’s sake, our Savior, who saves us now and all the time, and evermore.” 

Major Jason Swain is the Corps Officer of the Northeast Corps in Ashland, KY. He is the former assistant to the Editor-in-Chief of Publications at National Headquarters. 

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