Debate Prayer and Petitions

Is the Holy Spirit speaking about the American election, using the still, small voice of the Divine Office? He is to me. On October 3, the day of the first “debate” between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, Evening Prayer included a psalm that seemed to address the debate’s subject matter directly. Today’s Evening Prayer includes a psalm-prayer and intercessions that speak to me about this evening’s presidential “debate.” Again, the Spirit seems to have something to say to both of the contenders.

The first selection from the psalter this evening is Psalm 137, which includes the verses “By the rivers of Babylon / there we sat and wept / remembering Zion / on the poplars that grew there / we hung our harps.” and “O how could we sing / the song of the Lord / on alien soil? / If I forget you, Jerusalem / let my right hand wither.” What I found remarkable is the psalm-prayer that follows:

Lord, remember your pilgrim Church. We sit weeping at the streams of Babylon. Do not let us be drawn into the current of the passing world, but free us from every evil and raise our thoughts to the heavenly Jerusalem.

Later, during the Intercessions, we find these petitions:

Direct our leaders according to your will and help them to keep us in peace.

You provided bread for the hungry crowd. Teach us to share our resources with the needy.

Do not direct world leaders to give attention only to the needs of their own nations, but give them, above all, a respect and a deep concern for all peoples.

The Spirit seems to be speaking. Are Mitt Romney and Barack Obama listening? Are we? Am I?

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  • the warrioress

    How beautiful….thank you.

  • Rodak

    Our national strategery seems to be to define for others (such as Muslims) what their needs should be, and then to impose those needs upon them at gunpoint. This, while making deals with their corrupt political leaders, be they kings or military dictators, to avail ourselves of their natural resources, leaving it up to their dictatorial rulers whether or not any of it will trickle down to the masses. These tactics have worked so well in the Third World that there are now plans being drafted to import the system here for the improvement of the domestic scene. Allah hu akbar. (How many Americans know that “Allah” is word for “God” in the Bibles of Arabic-speaking Christians?)

  • Julia Smucker

    Earlier I saw a picture of the two of them sparring at last night’s debate, and I suddenly saw them as a couple of guys – real human beings, no more and no less – and I just sat there wondering how they have come to personify good and evil (take your pick which is which) in so many people’s eyes. Yes, they are a couple of guys who are vying for an extremely powerful position, and yes, this election will have consequences as all elections do. But it is after all an election; it is not the apocalypse.

    • Rodak

      President Obama was here in my hometown today. I just got done watching his speech on a live stream feed from the campus. In that context he is very real. He relates well to young people–especially to the young people attending this public university on the west end of the Appalachians. What he chose to speak about showed that he understood the real issues in the lives of these kids, most of whom are not from privileged backgrounds; many of whom are the first in their family to attend a university. A man like Romney can only talk down to such kids; he has no clue what their lives are like.

    • digbydolben

      Excuse me, Madame, but the West is in such a perilous position regarding its economic dilemmas and its looming–and self-inflicted–environmental catastrophes, for which a Middle Eastern war of unquestionably international ramifications is seen as a solution, that the results of this election may very well produce an “apocalypse.” The next debate will be about foreign affairs, and, if nobody brings up the slow strangulation of the Iranian people, the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from their traditional homeland, the expansionist ambitions of the Chinese fascists, the cyber warfare of American intelligence agencies which is soon to be turned on the American people, the murder-by-drone of innocent Muslim civilians, the mounting fury of Arab and Russian people against the American people, then you very well may consider that the American sheep are being led, by plutocrats and arms merchants, into the slaughterous “apocalypse” you dismiss so casually. I live in Mumbai, the debarkation point for almost ALL of India’s energy resources coming from the Middle East. The oil tankers in the harbour queue up for DAYS to secure India’s economic lifeline. Were the Gulf of Hormuz to be closed for even half of a day, India’s economy would plunge into free fall. I assure you, the rest of the world is not for much longer going to tolerate the Russian roulette game your American politicians are playing with planetary SURVIVAL. So many people, all over the world, have had quite enough of American hegemony, and the American people are not allowed even to know it!