October 11, 2016

When Words Fail, Pray.

When Facebook feeds are filled with political vitriol, when newscasts are rated NC-17, when loved ones who espouse a different opinion want to convert you, pray.

This election season, perhaps like no other in recent memory, has left many speechless. Whether you back Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, we can find common ground on the lament that the campaigns have been ugly and the hate on both sides deep-seated and frightening.

In a staff meeting a few weeks ago, we bemoaned the state of conversation—both among the talking heads and politicos and in our personal lives and social media feeds. What can we do? What can we say?

You’ve probably felt the same way. In a year of jaw-dropping revelations and accusations, words fail.

Enter prayer.

Through our brainstorming, we threw out the idea: What if we developed a resource that gave voice to our beseeching? Quickly the idea gained fervor, and we pulled together prayers for a thirty-day period. In blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and emails, we invited people to join us in A Season of Prayer: For an Election. On our website, we have a full list of prayers, all culled from The Book of Common Prayer, as well as weekly bulletin inserts. They are available in English and Spanish.

This is not a story about Forward Movement but a reminder that we all have the capacity to do something when current events conspire to make us feel helpless, small, and alone. We can pray.

Of course, God loves when we pray always, in good and bad, in petition and adoration. But God doesn’t move us into priority seating or award VIP status based on whether we’re frequent-flyer prayers. God listens every time. Even if the last time was a long time ago.

So let us pray. Every morning our staff will be praying these prayers together. And throughout the day, when my stomach turns again at some news story, I will pray.

God knows we need it.

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