Rear Admiral and U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black told attendees of the National Prayer Breakfast, including President Donald Trump and other world leaders, advice on how to pray.
Chaplain Black told those gathered at the Washington, D.C. event on Thursday morning that many members of Congress gather for a weekly Bible study, adding that when people pray they "are making our voices heard in Heaven."
"I believe they gather because of that," stated Black, telling the hundreds present at the Prayer Breakfast that "when I see a group of people of faith of this size I get an adrenaline rush."
"I know that where two or three are gathered together in God's name, He is there in the midst. So what happens when we get this many people gathered together in His name? I feel the palpable presence of God."
Black noted a few important points regarding the practice of prayer, quoting from 1st Timothy 2:1-4, using the New Living Translation.
"I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth," reads the passage.
From this biblical passage, Black observed that "we need to pray for everyone, all people" including non-Christians and that prayer must come "from a sense of need."
"My friends, God wants us to pray when we need Him. Even as a parent wants to be with a child who needs him or her," continued Black.
Black also instructed those present to "pray with a sense of intimacy" and then exhorted attendees to "pray for those who govern."
"We fasted and prayed for months during the presidential election, the presidential primary. We fasted and prayed, hundreds of us, on Capitol Hill that the will of God might be done," added the chaplain. "We must pray for those who govern and make our voices heard in Heaven."
Black's remarks were part of the annual National Prayer Breakfast, an event organized by members of Congress from both parties that features the president and vice president.
A native of Baltimore, Maryland, and a Seventh-Day Adventist, Black garnered headlines in 2013 for making overt pleas for an end to the government shutdown during his prayers that opened the Senate sessions, including one where he asked God to "save us from the madness."
"We acknowledge our transgressions, our shortcomings, our smugness, our selfishness, and our pride. Create in us clean hearts, oh God, and renew a right spirit within us. Deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable," prayed Black in 2013.
"Remove the burdens of those who are the collateral damage of this government shutdown, transforming negatives into positives as you work for the good of those who love you."