Prayers for Impeachment

Last semester I was meeting with a University of Kentucky alumnus who has a senior position in the US Court system. During the Clinton impeachment, he was an assistant to the Chief Justice and shared with me some stories from that time and provided some insight as well. The most interesting thing he shared, however, was the anecdote about an interviewer’s question and his response. He was asked, “Who did you think was the most persuasive speaker during the trial?” His response was, “Lloyd Ogilvie.”

Like the reporter, you may not know who Dr. Ogilvie was. He passed away in June 2019, but at the time of the impeachment was the Chaplain of the US Senate. (He followed my former pastor, Dr. Richard Halverson.) He and his guests offered specific, particular prayers at the opening of each day of the trial and this is what so moved the UK alumnus. He even tracked down an online version of the prayers for me and I wanted to share them with you, they can be found via Hathi Trust. Below was Dr. Ogilvie’s opening prayer.

The Chaplain, Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie, offered the following prayer:

“Is there any word from the Lord?” We humbly fall on the knees of our hearts as this ancient, urgent biblical question reverberates in our minds and echoes in this historic Chamber. When there is nowhere else to turn, we return to You, dear God. We hear Your answer sounding in our souls: “Let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.”—Jeremiah 9:24. Your righteous judgment is irreducible and your grace irrefutable.

Holy God, as this sacred Chamber becomes a court and these Senators become jurors, be omnipresent in the pressures of these impeach ment proceedings. Grant the Senators the ability to exercise clear judgment without judgmen talism. Today, unite the Senate in nonpartisan commitment to the procedures that will most effectively resolve the grave matters before them and our Nation. Bind the Senators together as fellow patriots seeking Your best for our beloved land.

Oh, dear Father, author of this Republic and divine authority from whom the Senators’ powers flow, we trust You. With one mind and heart, we rededicate ourselves to You and thank You for Your guidance each step of the way through these troubled times. You are our Lord and Savior. Amen.

January 7, 1999

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