Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Prayer on the day after the election


Find a quiet time and place to pray... take a few deep breaths...
be still... and know that God is near...


A word to reflect on...
Brothers and sisters: clothe yourselves 
   with heartfelt compassion, 
      kindness, humility, gentleness, 
         and patience.
Bear with one another;
   forgive whatever grievances you have
      against one another.
Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you.
Christ's peace must reign in your hearts...
                                     -Colossians 3

(This reflection was written on Tuesday afternoon, 11/6,
before the results of the election were known.)

Lots of people are very happy today, Lord,
   and almost as many are very disappointed...

This is the day of winners and losers, 
   of victors and the vanquished, 
      a day of cheers and tears...

And like yesterday and tomorrow, Lord,
   this is the day that you have made and given us
and on this day, as on every day,
   your word calls us to reverence one another
      and to bear with one another in kindness...

Help us remember that neither winning nor losing 
   excuses us from your command that we love one another
      with peace in our hearts and kindness in our speech...

Your law of love makes no exceptions permitting us
   to hate our opponents, to despise the winner
      or to demean the loser...

You call us always to collaboration and unanimity
   and never to discord or division...

You call us to be patient and kind with one another,
   not jealous or pompous...

Nothing justifies our demonizing one another...

The love you enjoin on us cannot be rude 
   or seek its own interests;
      cannot be quick tempered or prone to brood over injury...

You call us to a love that bears all things, believes all things,
   hopes all things and endures all things...

Indeed, you call us to love even our enemies,
   with a love that never fails...     

If I am in the winner's camp today, Lord, 
   keep me from being proud and haughty,
      snide and snarky...

If I stand with the losing side today, Lord,
   keep me from being mean-spirited and bitter,
      from any self-indulgent spite...

Both sides believe they campaigned
   for what will best serve the needs of your people:
whether we've won or lost, Lord,
   keep us all faithful to promises made
      and determined and dedicated
   to do what is just, to love what is good 
      and to walk humbly with you...

In the quiet of my prayer, Lord,
   humble my pride, tame any anger, 
      strengthen my resolve 
         and deepen my faith and trust in you...

 In the stillness of my prayer,
   help me hold to what is just and true
      and help me let go whatever keeps me from your love...

 Send your Spirit of peace to reign in our hearts
   and help us work together, Lord,
      to serve the needs of all...   
         
To ponder and pray over...
What are my post-election emotions?
How do they match the categories in the quote from Colossians?
Am I tempted to allow either a win or a loss
   to dispense me from loving my neighbor? loving my opponent?
If I've won, how will I call the other side to work with me?
If I've lost, how will I offer my help in the work that lies ahead? 
What will I ask of the Lord today?
From this prayer time, what word or phrase will I keep with me
   to carry through the rest of my day?

(After you spend some time with these questions,
   pray the reflection above one more time...)


Here are some tips for praying 10 minutes a day.  If you find these daily prayer reminders helpful, please let me know - and share them with others.  You'll find an archive of these daily posts here.

 
 
   
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2 comments:

GP said...

Thank you for this most real and humble prayer.

Amen! Amen!

michelle said...

I went to sleep last night not knowing the results of this election-

I went to sleep praying-

I prayed- a simple and maybe "childish" prayer (because it wasn't full of big words and facts)-

I prayed about what struck me the most- about change- it seems to me that candidates seem to imply that they will "make it all better"-
and that it will happen fast-
or faster than any other has done-

but, important and trusted people in my life have told me (many times) that change takes time-
sometimes we ARE moving forward even if we can't see it, or even if we think we have stopped or gone backwards-

so, last night, with tears in my eyes, I prayed for the candidate I voted for to win-
I prayed for all of us to see and trust that change takes time-
and I pray (now) for all of us to have patience for change-
both for ourselves and for others, near and far-


thank you for your help with my praying-