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Friday, March 4, 2016

Election Season Prayers - 2016


The tone and temperament of this election season are bringing me to pray more, which is not a bad thing. But this brings me to ask myself often, what ought I and other Christians to request? What should we seek after? How should we approach the throne of grace as we yearn for mercy and grace to help in our time of need? The following are some suggestions that I have pulled from the various versions of the Book of Common Prayer, and others I have penned myself. Use them as freely as you like; share them as freely as you dare. Mike. 
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O eternal God, through whose mighty power our fathers won their liberties of old; Grant, we beseech thee, that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain these liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (Book of Common Prayer). 
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O God, you have shown us what is good, and what you require of us; that we are to do justly, to love mercy, and the walk humbly before you. Guide us through this election that we, the electorate, and those seeking to be elected, will be a people who do justly at home, in the business world, the courtrooms, the legislative halls, and the executive offices; that we would be a nation who loves mercy, who seeks to work it out in all of our actions and decisions. And that we, the governed and the governing, would always walk humbly before you. Have mercy on our nation, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

(Prayerfully reflecting on Micah 6.8) 
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Almighty God, you proclaim your truth in every age by many voices: Direct, in our time, we pray, those who speak where many listen and write what many read; that they may do their part in making the heart of this people wise, its mind sound, and its will righteous; to the honor of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (Book of Common Prayer). 
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Merciful God, your Scriptures warn us for our good with these words; “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.” For generations we have voted for programs, laws and politicians out of a heart dripping with envy, jealousy and greed, and now it feels as if the bones of our country are rotting. Angry that others were prospering, we have pushed for heavier taxation, consoling ourselves with “they can afford it; they don’t have a right to so much money. How dare they!” Jealous that some have better privileges and advantages, we have yearned for them to be dragged down to our level. Greedy for our own personal peace and affluence, we have clamored for greater and heavier dependence on governmental safety nets and securities. We have increasingly been looking to our civil authorities (and others) as if they were gods or demi-gods who should be able to fix every catastrophe, ailment and trauma; and if they don’t (because they can’t) we bewail the injustice of it all and blaspheme them for their inadequacies. O God, we are a nation of idolaters, and your own people in this land have “stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their fathers taught them.” O God! Have mercy on us; forgive us; heal us; restore us, and we shall be saved! Fill us with tranquil hearts as we prepare to vote, that we may rest in you, casting off envy, jealousy and greed, and vote with an eye to glorifying you and enjoying you forever; through Jesus Christ your Son. Amen.

(Prayerfully reflecting on Proverbs 14.30 and Jeremiah 9.14) 
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Almighty God, who created us in your image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen (Book of Common Prayer). 
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"Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come! Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed." We bow before you knowing that you have cared for us and will continue to do so. Your might and majesty are far above and beyond our comprehension or conceptions. We acknowledge and admire your works of providence, whereby your most holy, wise and powerful preserving and governing of all your creatures and all of our actions is to your glory and to our good. Confident in you who promised “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” we boldly say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?" Therefore, help us to rise up trusting you, and to “build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply …, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare." O God, may “justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” And may we, your people, be those who humble ourselves under your mighty hand knowing that in due time you will raise us up; and may we cast all of our cares on you who cares for us. Now to “the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

(Prayerful reflection on Revelation 4.8, 15.3-4; Westminster Shorter Catechism 11; Hebrews 13.5-6; Jeremiah 29.5-7; Amos 5.24; 1 Peter 5.6-7; 1 Timothy 1.17) 
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O Saviour of the world, who by thy Cross and precious Blood hast redeemed us; Save us, and help us, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord. Amen (Book of Common Prayer).

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