A Prayer on the Morning of the Election

A Prayer on the Morning of the Election November 6, 2012

This is an exceedingly important election — and yet there comes a time when you must rest from all the work you’ve done on behalf of your convictions, and await the outcome with trust in God.  Here is my prayer today:

You, almighty God, hold the nations in the palm of your hand.  You work all things to good for those who love you and are called according to your purpose.  So we pray for the grace to trust that you are the Kings of kings and Lord of lords, the ultimate author of our fate.  We thank you that we can trust not only in your power but in your love, not only in your authority but also in your profound and intimate care for each of us individually and for all of us together.  

We are blessed to live in this nation you have entrusted to us.  We thank you that in this nation, unlike the vast majority of nations, we have the right to choose our leaders, the ability to hold them accountable, and the power to replace them swiftly.  We thank you that we enjoy freedoms and opportunities and resources that are historically unprecedented.  Whatever the outcome of the election today, we have every reason to be enormously grateful to you for the abundant blessings you’ve lavished upon us.  May we never take those blessings for granted, and may they spur us on to live lives of gratitude and to share those blessings with those in need.  

Help us to remember, Lord, that our allegiance to you far outstrips our allegiance to any political party.  Our union with you is eternal and essential; our partnership with a political party is temporary and prudential.  Remind us, Lord, that neither party has a monopoly on good ideas or good intentions.  There are wise and honorable men and women on both sides of the partisan divide in this nation.  Never let our partisan convictions blind us to what is good across the aisle, to ideas that should be explored and tested and applied.   

May your people today set examples of charity, integrity, and responsible citizenry.  May we take no part in electoral intimidation or harassment, mockery or slander.  Let us be as Christ to all people, full of grace and truth, slow to anger and quick to love, speaking with honesty instead of caricature, acting with charity instead of enmity.  

Whatever the outcome, we pray that it would be clear and accepted by both parties, not entrapped in legal wrangling and continued animosity.  Half the country will be disappointed by the results — help us to be agents of peace and reconciliation.  Americans will need to work together to rebuild.  The two camps that have battled now for months will have to lay down their arms and work as one to create a better and more just society.  Help your people to show the way.  If we are delighted with the outcome, let us be the first to reach across the lines to rebuild community and common purpose.  If we’re disappointed, may we be the first to lean our shoulders into the yoke and work together with those who won to plow the soil and plant the seeds for a better tomorrow.  There is another kingdom breaking into this world, and believers of all political stripes — no matter who resides in the White House — can give themselves to your calling to be shapers and makers of culture, proclaimers of truth, vessels of grace, defenders of justice, and servants to the least of these.  We collectively, in this calling to sow the social soil with the true and the good and the beautiful, will have far more power over the future of our republic than any single politician.  

Thank you that we choose today between two reasonable alternatives, represented by two honorable men.  We pray that you will work in the heart of the man who wins the presidency, whoever that may be, to protect him against temptation, to guide him in wisdom, and to turn his heart and mind toward your will.  Keep him safe.  Strengthen his family.  Deepen his faith in you.  

Thank you for giving us this extraordinary nation.  We acknowledge its faults, confess its sins, and pray for revival and restoration.  May your people more earnestly live in the imitation of Christ, may your church more powerfully speak your truth and live your love, and may we never forget that we are not citizens but sojourners in this world.  Let us not idolize this nation, nor take it for granted.  Into your hands we entrust its future.  May our children and grandchildren and generations yet to come be blessed by a wise decision today.  Amen. 

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  • Matthew B

    Truly beautiful and godly.

  • Keith Johnston

    Excellent — thorough and articulate with all of the emphases in the right places.