U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black says the Daily Prayers he Offers in the Senate Chamber Come From 'God Texting him'

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - The core content of the daily prayer that U.S. Senate Chaplain - and Oakwood University alumnus - Barry Black offers for the 100 senators comes from, he says, "God texting me."

U.S. Senate Chaplain and Oakwood University alumnus Barry Black addresses ministers and church workers during the annual Pastoral Evangelism & Leadership Council held at the Seventh-day Adventist university in Huntsville, Ala., Dec. 8-11, 2013. Black said that the pointed 'ministerial scoldings,' as the New York Times termed his prayers during the two-week government shutdown in September and October, were messages given him by the Holy Spirit. (Courtesy Ron Pollard / Oakwood University)
Black explained the source of his inspiration for the prayers, which received national attention during the 16-day government shut-down, when the retired two-star Navy admiral spoke in Huntsville at the Pastoral Evangelism & Leadership Council held at Oakwood University the second week of December. The PELC attracts more than 1,000 Seventh-day Adventist clergy and church workers from around the U.S. and the world for the annual four-day seminar.

His sermon and interview at PELC are reported in the Dec. 17, 2013, Adventist Review, the international news magazine for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in an article co-written by Oakwood student Jyremy Reid and Tim Allston, director of public relations for Oakwood.

"Every morning on my way to Capitol Hill, I have an encounter with the Holy Spirit, and God would text messages into my heart," Black told PELC director Jesse Wilson in an interview during the PELC. Black was referring to Luke 11:13, where Jesus said that God will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask for it.

"When the Holy Ghost sends a text, it'll make the news!" Black said.

Black, preaching as the opening sermon for the PELC on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, urged his fellow Seventh-day Adventist ministers to take a lead in issues of justice.

"There need to be Adventist ministers who will speak out against some of the really touchy issues, because people are listening for a prophetic word; but too often, we're bringing up the rear," Black said in his sermon drawn from 2 Kings 5's story of those who influenced Naaman, the Syrian commander who had leprosy during the time of Elisha.

"There are people who are speaking out, and speaking out prophetically, but we often are not. We need relevant truth, and present truth is relevant if we recognize what is going on in the world around us. You pray with relevancy and you preach with relevancy."

Black's one-minute prayers, determinedly non-partisan, unflinchingly called the leaders to repentance and action.

Source: AL.com | Kay Campbell | kcampbell@al.com 
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