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Prayer on the Eve of Election | Monday, November 2, 2020

(Sharon Altman)

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. Romans 8:26

Feeling paralyzed? I’ve been fortunate not to have experienced actual physical paralysis but I frequently have felt what I would call ‘paralysis of the spirit’ when I let myself get overwhelmed by life events. Maybe you are feeling that way now, in the midst of an election and a pandemic and other concerns that have brought a lot of emotions to the surface for many of us.

When I get paralyzed I try my best to lay my fears and anxiety at Jesus’ feet by saying a little (or a big) prayer. I then usually try to make myself do something that I enjoy. A craft, some sewing, cooking or baking (simple recipes in my case), going out for a walk to remind myself that life continues and will do so even in difficult times.

I confess I am not the best at sitting in contemplative prayer or meditating. If you are, that is wonderful. Make time to sit and pray. If you are more like me, maybe you find your connection with God by physically doing something. If so, I encourage you to find an activity to do today that you enjoy. But, this time, rather than just going through the motions and getting it done, take the time to thank God for whatever it is that you have chosen to engage in; thank them for the time to do the activity, for the materials involved; for the ability to do; for the enjoyment it gives; for the hope it brings.

Then, take some time to pray for others. For those who are working in healthcare; for those working to ensure a safe, accessible and trusted election process; for those who have, who are and who will vote; for those working in all the service industries; for those who are unemployed; for those who are in need of food, clothing, shelter; for those who are ill; for those who mourn; for those who are celebrating.

Take time to pray for our institutions: for the church; for the various charitable organizations; for our government in all it’s forms; for those in leadership positions in all of these institutions.

Remember that God is here with us on this earth; that the Holy Spirit is working in, among and through us. That even when we do not know what to ask for or how to pray the Holy Spirit has us covered with sighs too deep for words.

Holy Spirit, help us feel your presence in our weakness and in our strength, in our despair and in our hopefulness, in our sorrow and in our joy. Help us to see you in others and to open our hearts in true love for others. Forgive us when we fall short. Continue to intercede on our behalf with sighs too deep for words. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

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