The following is an excerpt from our September 27 prayer meeting, where we prayed for the political process and the effects that it is having on our church communities.
Looking at our social media feeds the night of a debate and the morning after, it is often tempting to swear off half of the people who seem to disagree with us. We ask you to temper our hearts.
And we apologize for the times when we’ve been dismissive or rude to our brothers and sisters in Christ because of politics. We don’t want to shy away from acknowledging the things that make us different from one another, but we aren’t always very good at it. Too often, we either try to pretend that our differences don’t exist, or we let the ways in which we are different drive us apart. Neither of those are what you call your church to do.
Instead you call us to be patient with one another, generous to one another, and gentle with one another. Those aren’t reminders you gave us for the times when we get along, or for the times when our differences are minor. We don’t need the power of your Spirit to be gentle with one another when we don’t think anything is on the line. We need your help being gentle with one another when it feels like the stakes are high.
Outside of your church, people swear at one another and swear one another off over their political differences. The world shouts at one another; we want to listen to one another. The world looks for opportunities to make snide comments or take cheap shots at their opponents; we want to be constructive and make our conversations more life-giving. The world can be vicious. We want your church to be gentle.
With the power of your Spirit, enable us to behave in ways that confound those who don’t know you. Make our churches into communities that defy expectation and explanation. We pray these things in the name that is emblazoned on our faith, the name of your son, Christ Jesus, amen.
Listen to the complete call: