As I write this newsletter, there is a lot of uncertainty in our country right now (a winner of the presidential election has not been declared). And when there is uncertainty, fear can creep into our thoughts, which opens up the door for us to be hurtful, resentful, or judgmental.
So, instead of holding on to those emotions, I would like to share this prayer exercise and ask you to spend a few minutes prayer surrendering whatever emotion you are experiencing over to the Lord. Scripture instructs us to “not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:6-7).
Merciful God, Who made us Your children by Your blood, help us to live in peace with those who differ from us politically. It grieves us to be so divided, and we pray that you would give us the grace to love even those we disagree with, and to trust in you, and not the powers of this world, for salvation. We lament how easily we can be persuaded to hate those who disagree with us politically, and how easily we can be distracted from your Kingdom by concerns about temporal power. Give us peace, calm our hearts, and help us to love one another no matter what comes of our politics.
- Pray that those in power would remember their duty to all Americans, and not just those of their own party.
- Pray that those who wish to exploit political division for evil ends would not succeed.
- Pray that those who are working for unity would be blessed and find success.
- Pray that the divisions in our nation will heal and not widen.
For reflection: Matthew 5:43-48
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they? And if you only greet your brothers, what more do you do? Even the Gentiles do the same, don’t they? So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
How might you live out this law of perfect love for those who are on the other side of political issues from you?
- Ask the Lord to forgive you for any hatred you have harbored in your heart and to give you love for even those whose politics you find scary or worrisome.
Almighty God, Who rules over all, hear our prayers and help us to love others as you loved us. We fail to love so often, but we know that you are forgiving and bless those who seek to make peace. Give us the grace to love one another despite our differences. Amen.