Every other Tuesday, Center for Christian Civics hosts conference calls for people to join together in prayer for our political process and the effect it is having on our country and our churches. The following is a transcript of one of the prayers from our September 13 call. Our next call will be held on September 27, and you can sign up for more information about it on our upcoming events page.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
Heavenly Father, when you are campaigning, especially for a high office, you meet a lot of people. You meet enemies and hecklers and protestors. You meet allies and opponents and fans and supporters and reporters and gatekeepers and donors. You gain celebrity and you gain staff, but it is difficult to gain friends.
We can often take the idea of friendship for granted. Friends aren’t related to us. They don’t work with us. They aren’t obligated to be around us. But they choose to spend time with us because they enjoy us or care for us. The only thing they want from us is to share our lives with us.
Having people like that in our lives is a simple dignity, but it is a profound one. Friendship matters because it’s what you want from us. You have called us heirs to Abraham, who spoke with you as someone speaks with a friend. When your Son Jesus came and walked among us, he set aside his crown and called us not servants but friends. Experiencing friendship restores our weary hearts because it means experiencing something of who you are and what you want for us.
We pray for the candidates running for office around the country, and especially for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Amidst the hustle and rush and stress of campaigning, Father, give them friends. Give them people who aren’t afraid of them and who want the best for them. Give them people each day who humble them and bring them joy and spark humanity and generosity in them all at the same time—people who give them an experience of friendship.
It’s easy to pray this selfishly—we want the people who will be leading us to be refreshed and to feel genuine human connection to other people so that they remain aware that their work affects real lives. But we want to pray this generously, for the sake of candidates who, whatever their flaws and sins, are still made in your image, and are still intended to experience life in ways that reflect your design.
We also pray these things knowing that, in November, some of these candidates are going to lose. They will see the things they worked so hard for over the course of months or, in the case of those running for president, years, pass them by. They will be low, and we ask you to provide them even now with friends who can lift them up when they fall low. Our souls crave friendship, and without it we can become cold, or hard, or selfish, or bitter. That’s not what you wanted for humanity when you created us, it’s not what you wanted when you sent your Son to save us, and we ask you to work against it in these candidates’ lives.
We pray these things in the name of your son, Jesus Christ, who showed us how central friendship is to the way your heart works. May he be glorified, and may their experience of friendship lead our candidates to thank and praise him. Amen.
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.