AshLee StrongDoug Andres

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today delivered opening remarks and offered a prayer at the annual ‘Washington: A Man of Prayer’ event, held in National Statuary Hall. Following are Speaker Ryan’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:

It is my privilege to welcome all of you to the Capitol this evening.

Pastor Dan and Joann: Thank you for bringing us together. Thank you for everything you do for our community. 

I think this event is so important.

It reminds me of a small bronze plaque that President Kennedy kept on his desk in the Oval Office. The plaque had a prayer inscribed on it.

“God, thy sea is so great, and my boat is so small.”

Now that was a prayer for fisherman, but I think all of us, in our own way, are casting into the wind for something. All of us are trying to find some horizon.

Yet in a time of so much noise, so much vitriol, it can be harder and harder to discern our path.

We get so caught up in reaction; there is little time for reflection.

We get so guarded that we forget all of us are going through some struggle, none of us have it all figured out.

We forget that our brokenness can be a blessing.

Washington showed us the way. He was not just a man of prayer. He was a leader for prayer. A general for prayer.

He gave us, among many things, this beautiful tradition of servant leadership.

In his inaugural address, he spoke of his “fervent supplications to that Almighty Being.” In the prayer journal he kept, he wrote, “Frame me more and more into the likeness of Thy Son.”

“Frame me more and more.” This acknowledgement that each day calls us to recommit to God. We are all works in progress, always in need of His wisdom.

Washington instilled this in our national ethos.

So there are going to be those days when the boat feels awfully small, and the seas terrifyingly high.

But through prayer, through reflection, that his how we hear those clear notes of grace.

That is how we make ourselves more available to one another.

That is how we encounter God in our voyages.

I have to tell you, my prayer list is longer as of late.

Those of us here who are practicing Catholics, our church is going through a heart wrenching time.

So I humbly ask you to join me in praying for innocents who are in immense pain.

Heavenly Father, we pray for the victims of abuse. Protect and strengthen them so that they may find comfort and healing. Let them not lose their faith. Give their loved ones renewed strength. Lead us on the path of truth and justice as we seek your grace in abundance.

We ask you this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thank you all for being here. It means so much.

God bless you and your families.

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