Now, that the election is over…

I.

Some races, regional and local, have been decided.
There are winners and there are losers.

The chiefest race for the presidency remains a finish-line yet uncrossed.
There are ballots still to be counted;
so, no one yet has been counted in or counted out.

The final Trump has yet to be played.
We all are waiting, Biden our time.

Whilst we wait, I pray that we pray…

II.

Pray for our fractured country…

A nation of manifold competing, conflicting visions
and conspiracy theories
and siloed existences of like-hearted folk
and echo chambers that sputter and spew only what we know we already think,
for that is all we already think we need to know.

An electorate painfully divided;
with more than enough anger,
burning higher, hotter than Gehenna.

Anger aimed at our stymied political system;
more ineffectual, less than functional.

Anger aimed at our partisan politicians
for whom compromise is a despised art;
discarded in favor of the cruel calculus of power
that identifies, demonizes, and victimizes enemies.

Anger aimed at one another based on which candidate is chosen;
friendships ended,
family relationships strained.

And forgiveness, though essential, a forgotten calling
(for it’s better [safer] to remain bitter).

So, let us pray for the healing of our hearts and minds, our souls and spirits.

III.

Pray for our COVID-sick, for restoration of wholeness,
our COVID-dying, for peace in transition,
our COVID-dead, for eternal repose.

Pray for their families and friends,
for hope as they wait,
for solace as they sorrow.

Pray for wiser heads and expert hands
to take hold of the reins of our battle against fear and fatality.

Pray for fortitude for our nurses and doctors,
wearied by endless service.

Pray for wisdom and renewed purpose for our hospital administrators and medical systems, bursting at the seams with patients,
breaking under the weight of care.

IV.

Pray for our economy;
especially for all exempted as beneficiaries of our muscular stock market –
the already underpaid, overworked laborers,
the part-time, now, no-time laid-off workers,
who, tho’ still with strength of arm have little hope of new loads to lift
and tho’ with families to feed, stand staring into cupboards bare.

V.

Pray for all
who have seen the skies ablaze,
who have heard the winds howl,
who have felt the earth shake,
who have fled the waters rising;
all who have prayed, “From lightning and tempest; from earthquake, fire, and
flood…Good Lord, deliver us”[1] and hath not been delivered.

VI.

Pray for all who continue to bear the burden,
to stand in the shadows of personal and communal denigration
sprung from the seeds of our national gloomy oppressive past
into the present soiléd fruit of our unresolved -isms of race and sex.

VII.

And, now, let us pray for ourselves that we, each and all, act in the language of those familiar words, which we must harbor in heart, and then take hold in hand to be made real in our daily living:

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light
where there is sadness, joy.

Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen.[2]

© 2020 PRA

[1] From The Great Litany, The Book of Common Prayer, page 149

[2] A Prayer attributed to St. Francis, (text) The Book of Common Prayer, page 833

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