The Common Good

Faith leaders want Americans to pray for collegiality

Date: January 3, 2013

At a time when the ideals of compromise and collegiality seem like a distant dream in the nation’s capital, an unusually diverse coalition of religious leaders is asking Americans to pray for civility.

Faith leaders from left, right and center have signed on, including Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Richard Land of the Southern Baptists’ Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and Richard Cizik, president of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.

Lisa Sharon Harper, director of mobilizing for the progressive Christian group Sojourners, left her prayer on the page, which reads in part: “Dear God, please move in the hearts of our legislators. Ignite in them a deep desire for the common good. Give them courage to lead and not merely follow the direction of the pundits and polls.”

Though various faith groups often separately encourage prayers for the country, such as the evangelical National Day of Prayer Task Force, it is rarer for so broad a group to organize a sustained national period of prayer.