Last week I was invited by Rep. Michelle Caldier of District 26 to bring the opening prayer for the Washington State House of Representatives in Olympia. I would get to see our government up close and pray for them as they started the day. John Skansie, John Westermark and John Glass (1st, 2nd and 3rd John. :-) came along to support me.
We were greeted warmly in the Chief Clerk's office and an aid took me to the House Chamber to explain details. They seated me next to the speaker of the house. Soon a tall man was seated behind me. I went to welcome him and found out he was Spencer Haywood, the famous Sonics basketball player. Wow! He was there to receive an award. Soon Rep. Caldier came up to welcome me.
Things started with the posting of the flag, the pledge and then I stepped up to pray. This was one of those prayers I actually pray about what I'll say. I quoted a Psalm that declares God is the one who raises up kings and I Timothy 2 where we are commanded to pray for kings and those in authority. Truly human government is established by God (Rom. 13). I prayed specifically for the leaders and their God ordained work. I was impressed to see all standing with heads bowed at their desks for the prayer. While not everyone may have been a Christian, it was a blessing to see so many showing respect to God at the start of the day.
In a few minutes they adjourned to their caucus rooms. Michelle and her aid escorted us to the Republican room packed with politicians where I was asked again to pray. What a privilege this was. Later on a tour we also witnessed to and prayed for two state troopers who were on duty there. They were appreciative and even took a picture us on the steps.
Everyone was so nice and made us feel genuinely welcome. Most of all we were moved to see such respect for God in our government in such a liberal state. We noted this also when we were on a tour of the building. At the entrance to the capitol are two large statues on either side of the door. Both were religious Christian figures in the early history of Washington. Marcus Whitman was on the right in his buckskins holding out a Bible. As we left we were reminded God is the one who raises up governments and even secular leaders. He also allows them to fall. Keep our State and Country in prayer in the days ahead. Those whom God has raised up have a difficult job to do.