Pause for Prayer: FRIDAY 7/17

The election's right around the corner, 
November 3rd isn't very far away,
and as usual, more heat than light's being generated
in all the divisive discussion and debate.

So, I bring my politics to prayer, Lord,
   before I lose myself in partisan bitterness...

As I enter the electoral arena, send your Spirit, Lord,
   to help me see, admit, acknowledge and accept that:

- in all things political, I can often be at at least a little:
      close minded, stubborn and inflexible...
- there are at least two sides to every issue
      and until I consider every side, I'm ill-informed...

- discerning what in the other side's stand might strengthen my own
      is a mature, intelligent way to seek and appropriate the truth...

- there are elements of the other side's position, Lord,
      more faithful to your word and truth than my side's stand...

- my side is never 100% right
      and the other side is never 100% wrong: never!

- if I don't scrutinize my positions as carefully as I do my opponents',
      then I'm being intellectually and politically dishonest... 

- your Word and your Spirit, Lord, are far more trustworthy guides
      than anyone on FaceBook, Twitter and all of social media...

- if I regard my side's stands as impartial, objective and unbiased 
      - then I'm at least as prejudiced as I imagine the other side to be...

- I need to try to understand the other side's positions
     as well as I would want them to try understand mine...

- political differences never give me license 
      to demean, hate, malign or curse another human being...

- there are childish, adolescent and adult ways to approach the election:
      the choice is mine to make... 

Send your Spirit, Lord, to help me  
see, admit, acknowledge and accept all these things
especially when I begin to think that one or two or more of them
don't apply to me and my side's positions...

And because I know how foolish I can be, Lord,
   enlighten me with the wisdom I know I need...

Because I can be intellectually careless and lazy,
   give me a strong drive for seeking the truth...

When I take inordinate pride in the correctness of my side's claims,
   humble me with a clear, objective view of the issues involved...

When I find myself just repeating what I've heard others say,
   help me think things through and define my own convictions...

When I allow name calling and insults to substitute for real critique,
   clean up my act with data, facts and evidence...

And most of all, Lord, 
   let no political agenda, no party platform, 
      no partisan concern, no candidate, 
      no self-interest on my part
   stand between me and your gospel,
      between me and your truth, your mercy and justice,
      between me and you,
      between me and your command 
         that I love you above all things
            and love my neighbor as myself...



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