The night before Jesus’ crucifixion things got real. Jesus warned his disciples that life would be difficult for them, as the world would react violently to their message. He encouraged them with the promise that he had already overcome the world.
The Soul of our Nation
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
One day Jesus asked his disciples who they thought he was. “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” Peter answered for all of them.
Jesus said, “Yes, that’s right,” Then he went on to explain that to be Messiah meant to die on the cross. Peter pulled Jesus aside and rebuked him, saying, “Never!”
Peter obviously had a different vision of the Messiah. In the narrative swimming in Peter’s brain, the Messiah didn’t die at the end of the story. The Messiah was a winner, not a loser.
Jesus shook his head and started talking about the first being last and the last being first. “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me,” Jesus said with a stern look.
That’s when Jesus said something that should be stamped over every political slogan poster in our land. Jesus said, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
An Election Day Prayer
… your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).
Do I care who wins this election? Sure … but, I’m not worried. I’m not as concerned with who wins as I am with the soul of our nation … and, the soul of the Church.
Here is a prayer for election day. It is not a prayer for one candidate to win over the other. It is a prayer for the soul of our nation. It is a prayer for the prophetic voice of the Church.
Our Father in Heaven, May your name be holy on earth as it is in heaven.
We acknowledge you as Lord over all creation, including nations and governments.
Awaken us to the power of your Spirit in our world.
Forgive us if we have wounded another person with unkind words.
Help us to forgive those who have wounded us.
Open our eyes to injustice and unrighteousness wherever it is found — even in our own hearts.
Use us as agents of healing and reconciliation.
Help us create communities that will build your kingdom on earth – communities that will protect the poor, stand up for the vulnerable, advocate for those who are not seen and heard, and speak the truth in love.
Help us to humble ourselves and pray and seek your face and turn from our wicked ways so that you will heal our divided land.
Help us come together for the common good and do as you have called us to do – to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with you.
Help us to pray for all our leaders, including our next President, whoever he may be.
In Christ’s name, we pray.