WASHINGTON – Americans hoping for an end to the gridlock that’s caused a partial government shutdown have an option aside from protesting and rallying in front of the Capitol, according to U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black.
They can pray.
“I think the most important thing that voters can do, quite frankly, is to join me in prayer,” Black said during an interview Wednesday with WTOP. “There’s a Bible verse in James 5:16 that says, ‘The effectual, fervent prayers of the righteous avail much.’ And so I believe that it is time for citizens to pray.”
Black, a native of Baltimore and retired Navy rear admiral, has garnered attention recently for his prayers at the start of Senate sessions — supplications which have included a plea to “save us from the madness.”
The Washington Post notes Black’s spotlight has stretched even to “Saturday Night Live,” where cast member Kenan Thompson parodied his prayers.
When asked Wednesday if he had started to lose faith with members of Congress, Black responded with one of many biblical references he sprinkled throughout the interview and was adamant that he still has hope.
“I’m confident that God’s purposes will prevail,” Black said, “and no matter what happens, in everything he is working for the good of those who love him, says Romans 8:28, and I certainly do love him.”
He also said the U.S. government isn’t alone in dealing with what many see as dysfunction.
“Dysfunction is par for the course in a sinful world, so it’s not something that surprises me,” he said. “But in spite of the dysfunction, somehow, this great nation has managed to navigate through some rather treacherous waters, and I’m trusting God that it will do it again.”
Not every statement Black made to WTOP referenced his biblical worldview, however.
When asked whether he was tough as a Navy admiral, the chaplain responded with a deadpan cinematic shout-out.
“Well, sometimes you have to be tough, as it says in the movie ‘The Godfather.'”
Hear Black’s entire interview with WTOP and see him in action below.
Senate chaplain keeps the faith amid shutdown
Ret. Rear Adm. Barry Black talks with WTOP