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WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Chaplain Barry Black is asking God to help lawmakers avert the automatic budget cuts that kick in Friday.

In Tuesday's invocation, Black gave thanks for the faith of the nation's founders and prayed for divine intervention to make today's senators "worthy of this godly heritage."

The Senate chaplain asked God to be close to gridlocked lawmakers as they "grapple with the challenges of another fiscal standoff."

Black prayed for God's favor and said, "Answer us, O God, when we call."

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