Throughout history, whether in times of peace or times of war, our nation has turned to prayer. Prayer unites us, comforts us, guides us and helps us gain strength through God's glory and love. There's a reason why we start each day on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in prayer. And there's a reason why, as state legislators in Idaho's Capitol, we started the day in prayer. We are but ordinary men and women, children of God, humbled by the fact that we have been called upon by our fellow citizens to make decisions for this great nation. We make decisions that we know will have a direct impact on citizens here and abroad. And when we cast votes on such substantial issues, it is important for us to look to God for the wisdom and strength to do what's right.

This is a crucial time in our history, not unlike the times that have come before. In fact, I'm reminded of Lincoln, who, during the Civil War, prayed for "the blessings of peace, union and harmony throughout the land." And I think of Washington, who, in his first term as the first United States president, said, "As we face the challenges of our times, God's purpose continues to guide us, and we continue to trust in the goodness of His plans."

Today, as we humble ourselves before our Creator, we do so with a sense of grief for our country's offenses against Him. As Lincoln wrote during the peak of the Civil War, amidst the blessings of prosperity, "we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us."

I believe we must recover our sense of our duty to Him as the One to Whom we are all individually and collectively accountable.

We still need the blessings of peace, union and harmony. We still need God's purpose to guide us. We still need to continue to trust in His plans. It is for this reason I ask that the American people join with us, to pray that God will continue to guide and to richly bless the United States of America.

Editor's Note: 37 lawmakers, including Rep. Bill Sali, are scheduled to hold a press conference Wednesday on the West Steps of the U.S. Capitol calling on Americans to pray for the nation five minutes each week.