Praying in an election season: A Prayer for National Occasions

Leader:    Some trust in governments and some in borders,
    All:      but we trust in God, who invites all people to live in peace.
   Left:     For the earth belongs to God,
                        and all creation is in God’s care:
Right:     land and waters, plants and animals, sky and soil,
                      declare the hospitality of God.

   Left:     The world belongs to God,
                        and all who live in it.
Right:    We belong to one another as siblings,
                        all of us children of God.

Leader:   With gratitude for the home God has made for us on this planet, we pray:
     Left:   Send your Holy Spirit
                       to strengthen our resolve
                       to strive for communities
                       where foreigners become neighbors
                       and strangers become friends.
Right:   Revive our desire for the reign of Christ,
                     who releases prisoners
                     and liberates the oppressed,
                    who frees the world from greed
                     and proclaims God’s peace.

  All:      Make justice roll down like a river
                    and righteousness flow like an everlasting stream. Amen.


Prayer written by Rev. Isaac Villegas, pastor of Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship. Used by permission.

This prayer is included as a worship resource in the newly-released hymnal Voices Together (available in hard copy and in digital form on the GIA Hymnals app).

An explanatory note from the hymnal for additional context, sent by the publisher:

“Our daily lives depend on a network of political systems, from international bodies to national governments to provincial or state offices to local government workers. Even for Mennonites with a sometimes-fraught history of relationship to government, national holidays are occasions to recognize or embeddedness in society while taking the opportunity to reaffirm our faith in God’s redemption of our personal and political lives.

“This reading and prayer draw on portions of Scripture that have been important to Anabaptists over the centuries as they have discerned how to live faithfully in various political contexts. Phrases and thoughts from Psalm 20:7, Psalm 24:1 , Luke 4:18-19, and Amos 5:24 are included in this worship resource. This prayer can speak powerfully into a variety of time periods, geographic regions, and social and political realities––whether more oppressive or more oriented to public service.”

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