Colorado's Gov. Jared Polis and U.S. Rep. Ken Buck talked about loving one another in a conference call Thursday night in connection with the National Day of Prayer.
Buck, who doubles as the state Republican Party chairman, and Polis, a former congressman from Boulder, joined Dr. Donald Sweeting, the president of Colorado Christian University in Lakewood.
"While we have this great heritage as a nation, we all feel the brokenness," Sweeting said of world and national events.
Buck said he prays every day "for those who protect us overseas and those who protect us at home, for our military and for our law enforcement officers."
He said they are the ones who protect U.S. freedoms, including the freedom to pray.
"I see the brokenness every day in Congress, and it's sad, because I think we could solve a lot more problems," Buck said. "... I think there would be many aspects of prayer that would be helpful in Congress."
He spoke about how he, a member of the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus, and Polis, considered a liberal, worked well together for four years.
"I really appreciate the fact that he's now our governor here in Colorado," Buck said.
Polis, the state's first Jewish governor, said he had just attended a Holocaust memorial at Temple Emanuel synagogue in Denver.
"And, of course, now we mourn the loss of people of faith, Christians in Sri Lanka, Jews in San Diego and Pittsburgh, Muslims in New Zealand, people of faith in a place of peace, which should be a place of respite," the governor said.
He continued on about "the power of prayer to unite us." His brother organized a multi-faith prayer event at the governor's mansion during his first weeks in office, Polis said. He hopes to make that an a tradition.
Polis recited a lengthy prayer, beginning:
"We pray for peace. We pray that we may have more meaning and more prayer in our lives. We pray that we may believe more fully in ourselves and that we're connected to the higher power. And we pray that we pray carefully and honestly, humbly and divinely. And we pray to know and love our fellow citizens. We pray for health, our health and the health of others."
The National Day of Prayer began under President Truman in 1952, and in 1988, President Reagan declared the first Thursday in May each year as the official observance.
This year's theme is taken from John 13:34, which says, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
Jeff Hunt, leader of the conservative Centennial Institute think tank, which put on the talk, welcomed a phone-in audience of thousands.
"We're commanded by God to pray for all our leaders, regardless of their party affiliation," he said. "And, secondly, when we do pray for our leaders, it is pleasing to God."