Freshman Representative Says Prayer Needed to Solve America’s Problems

Thursday, May 05, 2011
cns news


allen west

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), speaking at the National Day of Prayer, May 5, 2011. ( Starr)

Rep. Allen West, a freshman Republican congressman from Florida, told guests and colleagues attending the 60th National Day of Prayer on Thursday on Capitol Hill that America is “rooted” in its Judeo-Christian faith and that prayer is needed to solve the nation’s problems.

“This America is rooted in a Judeo-Christian faith tradition, which finds its cornerstone of communication, prayer,” West said, who cited the Founding Fathers’ acknowledgement of God’s role in the nation’s destiny.

General George Washington, West said, was famously portrayed as he prayed at Valley Forge.

Thomas Jefferson, noted West, spoke of the consequences of turning away from God when he said, "Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?”

West also said that Americans have always turned to God in times of trouble.

“When the foundations of America were attacked and destroyed on September 11, 2001, we found ourselves as a nation doing that which is best, praying,” West said. “We found ourselves doing as it says in Psalms 34:6, ‘This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.’”

West, who served in the U.S. Army for 22 years, including two tours in Afghanistan, said he believes the Navy SEALs who carried out the mission on Sunday that led to the death of Osama bin Laden also depended on their faith.

“On this National Day of Prayer, I can attest without any doubt that before those brave warriors launched their mission, they prayed,” West said. “Prayer is the means by which we can find refuge in our Lord God as we face trials, tribulations, and tumultuous times.”

West said that Americans should turn to prayer now to solve the nation’s problems, including praying for “economic security and the blessings of long-term sustainable job growth policies.”

He also said Americans should pray for national security, individual liberty, restoration of the family and for “the sanctity of innocent life.”

congress day of prayer

Members of Congress pray at the National Day of Prayer in the Cannon Caucus Room on Capitol Hill on May 5, 2011.( Starr)

“We must pray as it states in II Chronicles 7:14, ‘If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land,’” West said.

The three-hour worship service, held in the Caucus Room of the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill, included prayers for the executive branch of the U.S. government, the Supreme Court judges, and the legislators in the House and the Senate. Prayers were also offered for all branches of the U.S. military.

Music was also a part of the service, including a performance by singer/songwriter Ginny Owens, an award-winning contemporary Christian artist who has been blind since she was 2.

The keynote speaker at the event was Joni Eareckson Tada, who was paralyzed from the neck down after a diving accident in 1967. Despite her disability – and battling breast cancer – Eareckson Tada is an author, a “mouth artist” who paints holding a paintbrush in her teeth, and has traveled the world for her Christian ministry and to help other people with disabilities.

She said Christians have a responsibility to take care of the poor, hungry, orphaned and disabled, and to do their part to make the world a better place “for the good of man and the glory of Jesus Christ.”

She said no matter what challenges we face as Americans, there is reason for optimism.

“So let’s get up, brush off the dust and get back in the game with drive and energy because God is on his throne and Jesus is at his right hand,” Eareckson said.