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Ms. FOXX. I would like to thank the gentleman from Virginia for that nice introduction, but especially thank him for leading this Special Order tonight and for being such a leader with our Congressional Prayer Caucus. He has given great illustrations of the ways the Congressional Prayer Caucus has taken action.
Mr. Pearce, the gentleman from New Mexico, has given us an excellent history lesson, and our colleague, Mr. McIntyre from North Carolina, has helped to round out with information about the National Prayer Breakfast, and one of the reasons why we're focusing on the topic of the Prayer Caucus this week. I think they've given great context.
I want to say, Mr. Speaker, that we realize that God, the author of freedom, has given us a free land, and we praise Him for it. That freedom is the basis of everything else that we do in this country. This week, many people of faith will gather in Washington, D.C., to pray to Almighty God for wisdom and guidance and, above all, for obedient hearts to carry out His will.
The size and scope of the challenges before us would overcome a faithless people, so we acknowledge our desperate need for continued blessing and direction. We ask God to make us thankful, because ours is a country founded upon religious freedom and deference to our Creator and not to government. We enjoy a societal understanding that dissent is not disloyalty. The United States upholds the God-given rights of its citizens to believe as they are called and to live their faith in accordance with their convictions. That individuals may set their own course so boldly is why creative excellence and individual property are capstones of citizenship.
We ask God for hearts vigilant to observe the numerous blessings He has given. And we ask for mercy not to stray from being good stewards of His gifts, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, to always protect liberties of conscience, to seek justice, love mercy, and follow humbly after God.
Only by His grace do we, who serve in this Congress, have any hope of being able to humble ourselves in service to others.
Only by His grace can we be safeguarded from trite competition and self-exaltation. Only by His grace can we do what my constituent Rob Lee encouraged and go outside our pride to ``pray for our leaders, regardless of their political ideologies.''
Our God is a loving God, and He is our defense. We ask Him often to keep a hedge of protection around our men and women deployed throughout the world for freedom's sake. We know it is the example of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lived the words ``greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friend,'' that inspires the brave generosity of so many of our warriors.
Our Lord is faithful to be near the brokenhearted when evil and sorrow have temporary triumphs in this world. We pray that His justice will be swift, and His righteousness our great relief.
To have even the slightest chance of living up to our oath and doing right by the people we serve, we need the help of Almighty God. This week, as ever, we reflect on that reliance and declare our thanks once again that we continue to be beneficiaries of His most awesome grace.
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