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. Please consider joining us by phone for the next prayer meeting, which will take place on Tuesday, October 11, at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
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:
Join Us On Our Next Call
Our next prayer conference call will be led by Stephanie Summers, CEO of the Center for Public Justice, a long-standing Christian independent public policy research organization.
As Executive Director of Center for Christian Civics, Rick helps ministry leaders and faith communities develop missional approaches to their local public squares. He has worked on campaigns for local, state and federal office, is a former writer and editor for Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and oversaw communications for the Grace DC church network. He and his wife live in Washington, DC.