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Letter to the Editor: Finding peace in prayer
Letter To The Editor

From Diana Vance


To the editor:

The world is suffering in a pandemic where in the United States of America 85,000 people died from the virus. In times like this where we have so little control and need a helper I turn to prayer. Our most beloved president Abraham Lincoln went looking for the answers and he found them in prayer. Prayer has guided our nation which is described as “One Nation Under God.” We did things for and with other countries. And prayers said by the chaplain in the Senate guided us. His name was Peter Marshall and he came to prominence in religious circles the decade he served as pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C. It was the same church which Abraham Lincoln turned for comfort during the most difficult days of the Civil War. Peter Marshall so impressed lawmakers he was appointed U.S. Senate Chaplain for the eightieth Congress in January 1947.

What distinguished Marshall from other clergymen was his unshakable belief in the power of prayer. Within weeks of Marshall’s taking over the prayers of the U.S. Senate it became clear senators were rearranging their daily schedules to hear his opening invocations.

Eleanor Roosevelt, who is my heroine, was closely associated with the launching of the United Nations. In one of her prayers she said in part, “Keep us at tasks too hard for us that we may be driven to Thee for strength. Save us from ourselves and show us a vision of a world made new.” We don’t know what will come out of COVID-19 but it is the scientists we should listen to. And it is God to whom we pray to. If you don’t know God, then look at Christ and read what he did while he was on earth. Peter Marshall said those words. I am learning and praying for all the people in our country. I leave you with this prayer said by President Ronald Reagan after the space craft Challenger exploded shortly after take off. “The crew ...honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved good-bye and “slipped the surly bonds of earth” to “touch the face of God.”

This column today is dedicated to Char Barry.