A Guide to Prayer on Election Day

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The call is to sow for a great awakening in our land. It is preeminently a clarion call to prayer. This is an invitation not so much for a day of prayer for this nation as it is the doorway into a new day for prayer in this nation. This is a time for all who will to heed this call to step over the line and walk through the door into a new epoch of the most powerful activism of the ages—the holy activism of prayer. It is time to forever leave behind the days of casual prayer that we might move ahead into a travailing way of prayer. Following are seven texts from the Bible followed by seven prayers for awakening. It is to this work we now turn. (Download the printable guide here.)

THE LITANY OF PRAYER FOR AWAKENING

Hear the word of the Lord from the Psalmist:

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.—PSALM 121:1–2

Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we come before you this day to declare that you are God and we are not. We stand in awe of your greatness. We marvel at your goodness and we bow before you, the sovereign King over heaven and earth. Our hope is neither in a nation nor for a nation but for your kingdom to come in all the nations of the earth. We do come before you this day to make intercession for this nation, the United States of America, and all its people. Come Holy Spirit and fill us with the wisdom of heaven that we might make effective prayers in accordance with the will of God for this earth. We come praying in Jesus’ name.

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayers.

Hear the word of the Lord from the Prophet Jeremiah:

Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the LORD, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. —JEREMIAH 2:11–13

Heavenly Father, we come before you in repentance to confess our sins and to seek your mercy. We confess we know we cannot be awakened to your mercy until we have become aware of the offense of our sin. We have forsaken you as the only true source of security and prosperity. Instead we have trusted in our wealth to sustain us, placed our hope in our elected officials to lead us, and declared our dependence on military might to protect us. We come now to stand with your people in all times and at all places who with one voice declare, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Ps. 20:7). Lead us in the way of dependence on your daily bread for our provision; on your kingdom come and your will be done as our path; and on your deliverance from evil as our protection. We pray in the name of your Son, Jesus.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Hear the word of the Lord from the Prophet Joel:

“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. —JOEL 2:12–13

Come Holy Spirit and bring near the grace, mercy, and tender care of God. Remind us that it is your kindness that leads us to repentance. Awaken your people that we might return to you with all our heart. Save us from religious demonstrations and lead us to the cross, where we might humble ourselves again before you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Hear the word of the Lord from the Prophet Isaiah:

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” —ISAIAH 6:1–3

Almighty God, awaken us to an all-consuming vision of your holiness. We want to behold you high and lifted up; your glory filling all the earth. Open the eyes of our hearts. We want to see you. Lord Jesus, you taught us, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). Would you give us clean hands and a pure heart. You taught us that “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6). We ask you to increase our appetite for all things to be put right in the world. Would you begin by putting things right within ourselves. Lead us beyond a place of duty and obligatory religion to an all-consuming holy desire for you, your will, and your ways. We pray in the name of Jesus.

Lord in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Hear the word of the Lord from the Prophet Hosea:

Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. —HOSEA 10:12

Come Holy Spirit, reveal to us the fallow ground in our own lives. Show us those places where we have become broken by sin and hardened by the pride that keeps us from even knowing it. Awaken us to the urgency of the times in which we live. We agree, now is the time to seek the Lord that you may come and rain righteousness upon us. And by this rain of righteousness, cleanse us from the scourge of insult and incivility of our nation’s discourse. Govern our hearts, our minds, and our words that we would no longer contribute to the discord but become sowers of your peace. Make us sowers of your Word, the ancient Word who is ever doing a new thing. Awaken us again to your high calling to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We pray in the name of Jesus.

Lord in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Hear the word of the Lord from the Letter to the Hebrews:

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. . . . And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.—HEBREWS 11:1–2, 6

God our Father, we come today praying for an awakening of faith. Where we see brokenness, you see healing. Where we see irreconcilable differences, you see new possibilities. Where we see callous indifference, you see rising compassion. We are desperate for a vision beyond what our eyes can see. We want to see as you see. Awaken our faith, Lord. We want to be counted among those who walk by faith and not by sight. Walk us into a new day of faith carrying a new banner of your truth and singing a new song of your grace that nothing is impossible with God. We pray in Jesus’ name.

Lord in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Hear the word of the Lord from the Apostle John:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.—JOHN 3:16–17

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. —1 JOHN 3:16 (NIV)

Come Holy Spirit and awaken the love of God within us. Open our hearts to know the love of Jesus for ourselves in a new and deeper way that we might become vessels of your love for others. Deliver us from our love of power that we might come to know the power of your love. Make us agents of healing in this land; peacemakers amid racial strife, way makers against impossible odds, and door holders for the house of the Lord. Lord we know where there is great love, miracles always happen. We are in need of miracles so teach us the ways of great love. We ask you for a great awakening to the grace of God in Jesus Christ. We pray in the name of Jesus.

Lord in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Let us give praise to God:

Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul.I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. Do not put your trust in princes in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob whose hope is in the Lord their God.He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—he remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord. —PSALM 146

A SUGGESTED ORDER FOR A NOON TIME SERVICE OF PRAYER

THE GREETING AND WELCOME

Leader: The Lord be with you.

Congregation: And also with you.

Leader: Brothers and sisters, we gather here today in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We have come on a day of great magnitude in our nation, marking the election of the president of the United States. We bring with us a measure of anxiety concerning the proceedings of this day and yet we come with an even greater confidence in the God of heaven and earth. We come not to plead for any particular outcome in this election but rather to declare as your people, “Your kingdom come and your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. We come confessing that our help and our hope are in the Lord, Jesus Christ.”

THE HYMN/SONG OF PRAISE

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth;And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE (See the Litany of Prayer for Awakening)

Following the Litany and as time allows, invite petitioners to form threesomes and continue praying. Throughout the New Room Network we have been calling out to God for awakening—beginning in us personally, extending to all those we love and hold dear, and rising as resurrection life in our churches. Take time for small bands of prayer in your gathering to seek God together in these ways. Continue praying, then, for the specific needs of our communities as God has given us understanding of them. We then close today’s season of prayer for awakening in the ancient prayer of the church, “Come, Holy Spirit,” crying out to God for a fresh outpouring of his love and power in our day. We ask the Holy Spirit to infuse us with a spirit of prayer, a greater calling, and growing passion to travail in prayer for awakening with perseverance and agreement.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, amen.

THE SENDING FORTH WITH BLESSING

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all,” now and always. Amen.

Download the printable guide here.

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