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Thriving in Turbulent Times

Retired Navy Admiral and Senate chaplain Barry Black discusses the keys to not only surviving adversity, but using it as a springboard for achievement. Read Transcript

NARRATOR: He's the spiritual leader

for some of the most powerful people in the United States.

Senate Chaplain Barry Black is not only

the pastor for 100 senators, he also

ministers to Capitol Hill employees and their families,

about 7,000 people in total.

His recent address at the National Prayer breakfast

drew praise from Republicans, Democrats, and the president


Far more important than letting our voices be heard

on earth is the opportunity to make

our voices heard in heaven.

NARRATOR: In his new book, "Nothing To Fear,"

the chaplain shares his seven principles that will help us

face a changing world.

Well, it's a great honor to have the Senate Chaplain Barry

Black with us.

You have become a viral sensation.

Your address at the National Prayer breakfast,

just has taken the internet by storm.

Were you surprised by it?

Well, I think it's great that we now have a good virus.


But, yes, I'm surprised and I'm not surprised.

There were hundreds of people praying for me

and there's no way that the sovereign God of the universe

is going to ignore that kind of intercession.

So in spite of the faulty vessel,

he decided to honor the prayers of the saints

and I thank God for their intercession.

They made their voices heard in heaven.

Did you feel any special inspiration during it?

I did.

I did.

I could feel the anointing.

It was just as simple as that.

I literally, Gordon, stepped into the anointing.

It was extemporaneous and impromptu,

which you don't do when you have an audience the size

of the National Prayer breakfast and the president

and the King of Jordan and the vice president

and the members of Congress there.

But the Holy Spirit said trust me with this one

and I said, you sure?

You can trust him.

You can trust him.

I think you've written an incredibly timely book,

"Nothing To Fear."

And just yesterday, I was reading,

"Be anxious for nothing, it only makes it worse."

Yeah, yeah.


And the more I thought about that verse,

the more I realized I had allowed anxiety

over the future and the present to overwhelm me.

And that anxiety actually starts to deny that God's in control--


--and that he has the power to see you through.

Well, that's Philippians 4:6 and it's is

one of my favorite Bible verses and seven kind of puts the ice

cream on the top of it.

It says, "Have no anxiety about anything,

but pray about everything."

So there's that.

Make your voice heard in heaven again with Thanksgiving.

So gratitude, the incense that enables our prayers to ascend.

First Thessalonians 5:18, "In everything, give thanks.

For this is the will of God concerning you

in Christ Jesus."

But then the promise is--

and you know it--

and the peace of God that transcends human understanding,

Gordon, will guard--

Your heart.

So you have a sentinel at your heart

when you use your anxieties as ammunition and material

for your prayers.

You know, I used to have a couple of minutes

worth of decent prayer material until I

started praying my anxieties, particularly

during the parenting years.

I mean, with the teen years.

That will increase your prayer life.

Oh, yes, yes, yes.

You've got a lot of material for prayer then.

And I've found that peace.

God basically says, Gordon, I've got this.

And I think it's God honoring when we permit him to place us

in his will and, too, as Proverbs 5:6 says,

"Direct our path."

We used to say when I was coming up,

take Greyhound and leave the driving to us.

God wants us to leave the driving of our lives to him.

He will direct our paths.

You're like a walking concordance.


I can say anything and you can come back with a direct quote.

How did you get that?

Well, the monetary incentive that my mama

provided my siblings and me.

If we wanted nickels, we had to know the word of God.

But then a passion for the word, because it is addictive.

Hebrews 4 says, "It is a discerner

of the thoughts and intents of the human heart."

We do not so much search the word as the word searches us.

Searches us.

And it's like a heat-seeking missile.

I love the book of Proverbs.

I think it's the greatest success manual ever written.

The verses are short and that's why I fell in love with them,

because the nickles that my mother would give us

for Bible verses, they were easier

to get with the book of Proverbs.

And I thought I had discovered a treasure trove of success.

Secrets that I didn't want to share.

Imagine Proverbs 22:29 saying to a kid in the inner city,

"Show me a man diligent in his business.

He will stand before Kings and not ordinary people."

Imagine reading that and saying, really?

I just have to throw some work at it and one day,

I will stand before kings and queens and not ordinary people.


That was so special for me.

And so those maxims literally transform your life, I think.

You were in your mother's womb when

she was baptized, which I find incredible that it

seems to have marked you--


--though, as an experience, not just for her but for both

of you and marked you for service.

Did you just grow up with that knowledge?


She did not tell me until I showed a tangible inclination

to spirituality.


She was baptized while pregnant with me when she was immersed.

She prayed for an anointing on her unborn child.

The minister talked about Jeremiah 1:5,

"While you were in my womb, while you

were in your mother's womb--

I knew you.

--I knew you."

Not just knew you, but set you apart, Gordon.

My God.

To be a prophet to the nation.


She claimed that promise.

So here's this kid coming out, fourth child,

getting his older siblings together to play church.

He is always the preacher.

My favorite sermon was called "Dirt--"

a one-word sermon, but you had to say amen to every dirt,

dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt.

And so it was obvious that here's

a child who has special spiritual proclivity.

God has answered my prayer.

So later, she told me about it and said, the anointing of God

is on your life.

I ran from the ministry.

Every preacher I knew was poor and I-- you

know, poverty is an acquired taste.


So I said--


I'm not going to-- flee from this and I ran and ran.

But God caught up with me.

[INAUDIBLE] indeed.

And he let me know that if you're in his will--

you know it, Gordon, it doesn't get any better than that,

does it?

Yeah, it doesn't.

It doesn't get any better than that.

I have a similar story.

I ran.


I ran hard and didn't realize that it's

exactly what I was made for.

There you go.

There you go.

If you're a prophet to the nation,

you're in a very unique position.

Do you have a message for those senators today?

Well, Jeremiah is the prophet to the nation,

but I had the opportunity--

You're claiming that.

No, no, no.

Yeah, my mother claimed that problem.

Her prayers got answered, didn't they?

There are gargantuan shoes.

My prayer for senators-- and my message for senators

and for people of faith everywhere--

is to implement Second Chronicles 7:14.

We have senators who gather every week in a prayer


We have senators who gather every week both sides

of the aisle at a Bible study.

They are God's people.

They are called by his name.


If, then.

Humble yourself.


Let's get some fervency going.

James 5:16, "The effectual fervent prayers

of the righteous avail."

Intensity matters, Gordon.

Yes, it does.


It said seek my face.

Turn from your evil ways, Gordon.

We've deviated from biblical admonition

in an almost pathological way.


We seem as a culture afraid to call things sin.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Calling sin by its right name.

We've got euphemisms for sin now, OK?

Then the sovereign God of the universe

says, will I hear from heaven.

He's not even listening.

Isaiah 59:1 and 2, His arms are not short

that He can't reach us.

His ears are not heavy.

Your iniquities-- duh--

have separated you from God.

Then will I hear from heaven.

Forgive your sins.

What a gift.

Covered with the righteousness of our Lord

and He'll [INAUDIBLE].


And he can bring healing like no one.

But my word to the nation, Gordon,

is there is a bomb in Gilead but we

are responsible for bringing it to our land.


I like to tell people, you can't be too dead for a resurrection.

There you go.

Praise the Lord.


And I love Elijah, dead at in the sepulchre and tossed in it

and a corpse is thrown in there--

Brings up the [INAUDIBLE]

and he's got so much anointing in the cadaver.

My God, my God.

That a dead man is raised to life

by touching a dead man because of the anointing

that was on that man.

And he asked for a double portion

of the spirit of Elijah.


Don't get me--

I'm not.

I'm trying to keep it down.

Don't get me preaching here.

I will remind you that Jesus, at least

in the kingdom of heaven, is greater than the greatest


There you go.

Praise God for that.

I like your humility.

But don't realize it.

But remember--

You can speak.

--the apostle, Paul, also said--

I am less than the leaves.

The tentmaker from Tarsus.

All right.


We'll trade verses on humility.

There we go.

But if you're looking for a warfare manual,

how to put that into practice, this book is for you,

"Nothing To Fear."

It'll give you the principles and prayers

to help you thrive in a threatening world.

And keep that verse in mind.

If my people, who are called by my name--

if you call yourself Christian, get ready to pray.

Get ready to humble yourself because we need to ask

God to come and heal our land.


Chaplain, thanks for being with us.

Thanks for the book.

Blessings, my brother.

All right.

Bless you more.


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