Prayers, Please: Ways to Pray for Election Day | Sojourners

Prayers, Please: Ways to Pray for Election Day

Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

As Election Day nears, one thing is clear: We all need as many prayers as possible. After you vote, while you wait in line to vote, or while you anxiously tune in as votes are tallied, here are places that you can pray on Election Day.

1. Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation will host a Zoom prayer vigil on Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST. Every hour on the hour, a leader will offer prayerful guidance around a contemplative practice leading into extended silence.

2. Unite Our Nation has compiled 503 locations for adoration across the country on Election Day. “As a people of faith, we turned to God, and were inspired to ask Catholic Churches to open wide their doors to Christ by offering adoration on Election Day,” the website reads.

3. Saint John Church Unleashed is hosting a Zoom Prayer for National Unity on Election Day at 6 a.m., 9 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. CST. “Our purpose is to ask God to bring unity to our nation in light of the upcoming election,” their site reads. Topics include God’s sovereign will, unity among races and ethnicities, unity in health plans that accommodate everyone, and unity in all faiths.

4. Poor People’s Campaign is asking their community to ring a bell, kindle a light, share a prayer when polls open in participants’ respective time zones and until they close. They’re also hosting a prayer every hour on the hour from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. EST on Nov. 3.

5. Saint Paul’s Methodist Church in Shawnee, Okla., is opening its sanctuary doors for a 10-hour vigil of prayer and reflection both on its campus and on Facebook. Throughout the day, participants can partake in music, prayer guides, prayers offered by the clergy, Praying the Hours service every three hours, candles for lighting, and a peaceful space for contemplation. Holy Communion will be made available every hour after clergy prayers. Participants can join via Facebook livestream at 9 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. CST.

6. From Nov. 2 to Nov. 6, the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County will hold an online prayer from 7:30 to 8 p.m. PST on Monday through Friday evenings. Each evening will be hosted by different places of faith across the country including Buddhist communities, Sikh communities, Baha’i’s, Congregational B’nai Shalom, Walnut Creek Islamic Center, Concord United Methodist Church, Saint Paul’s Episcopal, and more.

7. Inspired in part by the ways in which the faith community came together in concerted prayer in the lead up to the historic 1994 election in South Africa, SojoAction is offering prayers for the election season, including a litany and graphics for social media. Participants are encouraged to share the graphics and invite their friends to join them in prayer.

8. Catholic Sisters across the country will be in prayer on Election Day. The School Sisters of Notre Dame are hosting a 24-hour virtual prayer room in which they will be joined by over 175 congregations of sisters who have committed to praying with them on Election Day. The Dominican Sisters of Hope will host a contemplative prayer space from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST for silence and occasional guided meditation. The Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids invite the public to “come together as neighbors, connected to each other by our common humanity, grounded in our faith in God and in the belief in the common good” for a prayer vigil via Zoom from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST on election night. “Should you find yourself standing in poll lines, Zoom in from your phones,” their site reads. The Sisters of Mercy invite all to Vote with Mercy, including daily prayer intentions through Election Day.

For those who want to pray prior to Election Day, there are a number of opportunities this weekend for prayer.

  • Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Church will lead a livestreamed interfaith prayer service from Washington National Cathedral, Holding on to Hope: A National Service for Healing and Wholeness, on All Saints Sunday, Nov. 1 at 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST. In the midst of a pandemic, racial reckoning, and a historic election, the service will gather Americans for prayer, song, lament, hope, and a call to love God and neighbor. The session will be simulcast in English and Spanish, and will include reflections from Father James Martin and Valarie Kaur, Sikh author, filmmaker, and civil rights attorney.
  • PREPARE is offering a virtual interfaith prayer vigil on Nov. 2, the day before Election Day. Organized by faith leaders of First Baptist Church of Ann Arbor and Temple Beth Emeth, the event will feature local interfaith leaders will be leading prayer for 15 minutes every hour on the hour, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST.
  • And, on Nov. 4, communities from B’nai Jeshurun, SAJ-Judaism that Stands for All, Romemu, Fourth Universalist, and St. Paul & St. Andrew will gather on the Upper West Side in New York City to pray for the soul of our nation. The interfaith group will meet at 86th and West End Avenue, outside of St. Paul and St. Andrew’s. “We do not know who will be President, but we do know that no matter what, our country will need our prayers and that we will need community for comfort and strength,” B’nai Jeshurun’s website reads. This event will be outdoor and socially distanced, as well as live streamed through Facebook.
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