Sunday, October 30, 2016

Three Election Prayers

Give us, O God,
leaders whose hearts are large enough
to match the breadth of our own souls
and give us souls strong enough
to follow leaders of vision and wisdom.

In seeking a leader, let us seek
more than development for ourselves—
though development we hope for—
more than security for our own land—
though security we need—
more than satisfaction for our wants—
though many things we desire.

Give us the hearts to choose the leader
who will work with other leaders
to bring safety
to the whole world.

Give us leaders
who lead this nation to virtue
without seeking to impose our kind of virtue
on the virtue of others.

Give us a government
that provides for the advancement
of this country
without taking resources from others
to achieve it.

Give us insight enough ourselves
to choose as leaders those who can tell
strength from power,
growth from greed,
leadership from dominance,
and real greatness from the trappings of grandiosity.

We trust you, Great God,
to open our hearts to learn from those
to whom you speak in different tongues
and to respect the life and words
of those to whom you entrusted
the good of other parts of this globe.

We beg you, Great God,
give us the vision as a people
to know where global leadership truly lies,
to pursue it diligently,
to require it to protect human rights
for everyone everywhere.

We ask these things, Great God,
with minds open to your word
and hearts that trust in your eternal care.

-Sister Joan Chittister, OSB (A Prayer for Leadership)

An Election Season Prayer

God, I know that I don’t have to get angry. I don't have to get worked up. I don’t have to get depressed. And I don't have to throw anything at the TV.

I just have to use my conscience and vote.

So help me remember
what Jesus taught in the Gospels,
and what our church teaches,
especially about the poor, the refugee, the migrant,
the sick, the homeless, the unborn,
the hungry, the elderly and the lonely.

Help me remember the "least" among us,
and help me ponder in my heart
how to cast my vote for the good of all.

God, I know that no candidate is perfect,
because I'm not perfect either,
the last time I checked.
So free me of the burden of having to
vote for someone who satisfies
all my desires for a candidate.
My candidate will be imperfect,
like me.

Help me to be grateful for the ability to vote,
because not everyone has that privilege.

And when I meet people voting for someone else,
Help me to take a deep breath and
give them the benefit of the doubt,
because they are following their consciences, too.

Help me remember
that even though they sometimes drive me nuts,
I don't have to argue with them,
I don't have to convince them,
I don't have to hate them,
And I don't have to demonize them.

Then, after the election, help me work for unity.
Because I know that’s what you want.


Rev. James Martin, S.J.

A Prayer for Understanding and Integrity

Oh God of Creation,

As citizens of a nation possessing and exerting tremendous power and influence — both in the human community, and on the planet You so lovingly created‎ — help us to remember that our individual votes have tremendous consequences.

Help us to remember that we are casting our vote not only for ourselves, but for the billions of other beings in the world whose lives will be directly‎ affected by our nation’s election results.

May we be keenly mindful that the decisions made by the leaders we elect will affect so many:

• The afflicted children in Flint, Ramallah, Aleppo, ‎and Abuja
• The migratory monarch, the African elephant, and the pollinating bee
• The towering canopies and deep underground roots of Your ancient forests, and the birds, insects, primates, and other animals that inhabit them
• The war-weary people of Honduras , Syria, and the Philippines, struggling against violence and corruption
• The pika, the polar bear, and the darting fish of Your coral reefs, whose habitats are rapidly vanishing
• The desperate refugees fleeing violence, now languishing in prisons of our making
• The unarmed people of color gunned down in the favelas of Rio, the streets of Cleveland and Baltimore, and the shantytowns of Johannesburg; and
• All others with whom we share Your planet.

Let us cast our votes with prayerful discernment, humility, compassion, and in witness to Your love for all creation.

And let us each do what we can to ensure that our Sisters and Brothers who are eligible to vote — especially those lacking in power and access — are encouraged and permitted to do so, absent interference, intimidation, threat, and violence.

In the name of Jesus, who cast His lot with the weak and the oppressed – Amen.

-Pax Christi (A Prayer for Understanding and Integrity in the Voting Process)

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