Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
—Ephesians 4:31-32 (NRSV)
On November 3, Americans will cast the final ballots in the 2020 elections. No matter who wins your local races, seats in the Senate, or the right to sit behind the desk in the Oval Office, a large number of voters will feel defeated and possibly angry at those who voted differently than they did.
Chris Broadwell, the pastor of Eastport UMC in Annapolis, Maryland and contributor to Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice, reminds us to love each other, even when we are divided. In “God of Many Names: A Litany for Loving Well Though We Do Not Think Alike,” Chris provides a tool to help us love, pray for, and pray with people with whom we disagree. We encourage you to read the words of this powerful, responsive prayer and return to them in the coming days. Regardless of perspective or politics or party, may we love well.
ONE: Let us pray:
What do we call you, O God, you who are above all and through all and in all? What do we call you, when we know you in so many different ways?
ALL: Eternal One, Healer, and Friend:
Give us the grace to call on you.
ONE: Remind us, O God, of your faithfulness in gathering your people. From dust you created us, out of captivity you delivered us, and through your prophets you directed us.
ALL: Creator, Deliverer, Liberator:
Strengthen us to acknowledge our need to be made new.
ONE: Enlighten us, O God, to the ways we neglect your presence in our neighbors daily. But even amid chaos, destruction, and despair, you used a rainbow as a sign of your enduring love.
ALL: Light-bringer, Rainbow-maker, and Sun-stiller:
Help us to see your brightness in those we have mistrusted and mistreated.
ONE: Draw us together, O God, when we separate and segregate the body of Christ. You are with us and won’t leave us to wander on our own.
ALL: Emmanuel, Prince of Peace, Reconciler:
Call us to right living with one another.
ONE: You have shown us, O God, your way, your truth, and your life. Yet we diverge onto paths contrary to yours.
ALL: Anointed One, True Vine, Good Shepherd:
Lead us onto the path of righteousness.
ONE: You have commanded us, O God, to pick up our cross and follow you. Instead, we have gathered rocks.
ALL: Redeemer, Resurrection, and the Life:
Teach us to value mercy over judgment.
ONE: Restore us, O God, and heal our wounds. We have been unheard, misrepresented, and attacked.
ALL: Advocate, Comforter, Sustainer:
Enliven us to care for ourselves as we care for your world.
ONE: Inspire us, O God, to live with all humility and gentleness. To persevere with patience, bearing with one another in love.
ALL: Rushing Wind, Fire, Spirit:
Consume us as we fellowship, sing, and give thanks with one another.
ONE: We know you by many names, O God, yet you are One. While we make every effort, we are not united by our own doing but yours.
ALL: One Spirit, One Lord, One God of all:
Above all and through all and in all, make us one! Amen.
Adapted from Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice. Copyright © 2020 by Britney Winn Lee. Used with permission of Upper Room Books.
Rally is a prayer book for faith communities searching for words to respond to the injustices around them. Learn more at UpperRoomBooks.com/rally.
To anyone considering the 2022 Spiritual Formation in Today’s World: Ask yourself if you are ready and willing to give your heart, mind, body, and soul to the experience. If you are, you will be changed in ways you may not even know you need. And it will continue to shape you into the future.”
Learn more about Spiritual Formation in Today’s World: A One-Year Online Offering from The Academy for Spiritual Formation here.