A Post-Election Prayer

CHICAGO, IL (November 9, 2016) — In the wake of a grueling and often polarizing election season, Covenant president Gary Walter offers a prayer of healing for the church and nation.

Lord, the election is over. A new president will assume office, and those who will serve our nation, states, and communities have been determined by the free exercise of the free will you have given to people.

Lord, we weary of partisanship and want better of our discipleship. Forgive us where we have been complicit in what we have done, and not done, in reinforcing division and derision to divide and disparage.

You tell us that your Kingdom is not of this world. We pledge anew our allegiance not to a donkey, not to an elephant, but to you, the Lamb.

In so doing we look to your Word for how to live as aliens in a foreign land, how to serve the world you love with values from above.

And so we hear the admonition of Paul to pray for those in leadership, both those currently in and assuming office. Consequently, we pray for good judgment in the midst of complex decisions; we pray for character, humility, and empathy in the temptations of power; we pray for skill in the disciplines of leadership; we pray for a growing congruence of their convictions with the vision you have for the flourishing and inherent value of all they govern and serve.

And so we see the example of Daniel, seeking the common good. Lord, though he lived in exile among the Babylonians, he recognized a shared life. Like Daniel, help us to neither disengage nor disrespect nor lessen our convictions. Help us be more like Daniel, people whose convictions remain intact but who  remain engaged to seek the best for others who share common hopes, aspirations, and challenges for themselves, their families, and their communities.

And so we listen to you, who call us to be salt and light. Salt and light—you give to us sensory images, tangible and demonstrable.  Lord, you call us to make a difference more than offer an opinion. Making a point and making a difference are not the same. Lord, help us live out real ministry in the real world that shows the real difference you and the values of your Kingdom make.

And so we heed your call to be peacemakers. Empower us to reach across the divides, to seek understanding with whom we might disagree, granting that in each person there is worth as one made in your image.  May we also be mindful of coming alongside those whose peace now churns in new uncertainties, vulnerabilities, and fears about what the future might hold for them and their families.

Lord, we want better for our country than what we have experienced of late. And so we must expect better of ourselves first and foremost as citizens of your Kingdom seeking to be better citizens here. With malice towards none, find us faithful as your ambassadors living out faith, hope, and love.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

 

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11 Comments

  1. This election marks the most I have been involved in the political process in my life. I went to the caucus and I watched many debates. I was horrified by the behavior of some of those who wanted to be our next President. Were these really adults? Sometimes I couln’t tell from the behavior I was seeing. I think back to the Covenant annual meeting in Chicago when GlennPalmberg was elected President of the ECC. There were 2 candidates and there was a debate held. Each candidate was kind and respectful of the other candidate. They were almost promoting the other guy more than they were promoting themselves! I knew either candidate would make a good president of our denomination and it was a hard decision to make.

    Back to the present day. I didn’t care for either of the main candidates for a lot of reasons on both sides. I knew one of them would end up being the president of the U.S. And I knew it didn’t matter whether I liked them or not. Regardless of who won and who lost, I am still called to pray for them as our leader. I am still called to respect the office of the president. I am still called to be a law-abiding citizen. I am still called to do what I can for those who are marginalized in this country for whatever reason. I am still called to humble myself, knowing that I am no better and no less than others. I am still called to see those around me as Christ did when He hung on the cross, sacrificing himself for my sins and their sins.

  2. Thank you Gary for pointing us back to what is essential for the follower of
    Jesus Christ. I am so disappointed & disheartened by so many who cannot
    accept the results of a fair democratic process. Lord have mercy.

  3. Blessings Gary, for your integrity and leadership. Thank you for calling us to remember that we are called to be salt and light! As Lamentations reminds us, “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope.” 3:21

  4. I am not yet feeling like a peace maker, though I eschew violence.
    I am sad, angry, disappointed…no disgusted….I might be dimwittedly asking, along with the disciples, “We saw some guys doing stuff in your name…should we call down fire from heaven?” I find it hard to hear, let alone listen, or reach across the aisle. Love grows weak when fear is nurtured. Help me, Lord, to pray for hope, for courage. I will pray for unity another day, but not today. God forgive me.

    1. David. Thanks for your honesty. I share your bitter disappointment but I make no apology for being unwilling to ‘seek unity’ with those who are now shredding the fabric of our civil society.

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