A Prayer for Election Day

I confess I have very little to say about the general elections across the country today. I am dispirited by the whole process. I expect the end result to be the same regardless of who has power at the end of this process. This election will not turn the country around as promised by almost every one running for office.

38gf_header_sm I recently watched a documentary about President Gerald R. Ford, Time and Chance: Gerald R. Ford’s Appointment with History, that underscored my deep dismay. The story of Ford underscored what disturbs my spirit the most deeply. We have no truly great leaders, at least leaders of the kind that care about the nation before the advance of their own careers and personal futures.

As I vote today, and I considered not voting at all for the first time in my life, I will seek to express something of my concern in the way I vote. I will split my ballot in ways that I have not done in the past and I will under vote as well, passing on some races entirely. I will vote against many incumbents but not all of them. I will not vote on the basis of one single issue or the ideology of any one special interest. I am, in other words, not deeply excited about anyone or anything in the world of politics at this moment.

So I offer this prayer on election day, 2010:

Father, you have shown great kindness to this remarkable nation. You have mercifully granted her liberty and freedom to work hard and to live responsibly. Many have abused these freedoms since our founding but many still treasure them. O Lord, have mercy on us this election day. We choose our leaders today and the implications of our choices may extend far beyond what we can presently see or understand. But your sovereign will is not threatened by our choices. Grant us the freedom, therefore, to live in a way that will allow us remarkable opportunities to live the gospel faithfully in our time as others did in the past. We are grateful that you know our personal and collective futures and that our times are securely in your hands. Help all of us, regardless of who we vote for today, to celebrate the freedoms that we have to serve you without political and personal opposition. Show us how to stop making politics the center of so much of what we call Christianity. And please teach us to stop whining about so much and show us how to serve our neighbors once again in the love of Christ. Amen.