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.