Prayers of concern for new government

posted by Kaihsu Tai on May 9th, 2010

We prayed this prayer at a joint communion service, marking the beginning of Christian Aid Week, of the four Oxford city-centre ‘Faith in Action’ churches: New Road Baptist Church, Wesley Memorial Church, Saint Columba’s Church, and Saint Michael-at-the-Northgate. My friend Dr Martin Hodson preached.

Will you join me in the prayers of concern. Let us pray.

God the Creator, we adore you for creating the universe, full of potential to unfold; for creating our world, teeming with life and the possibility to develop.

God the Christ, we marvel that you have come among us; that we can find you in the least of these, the most unassuming of our neighbours.

God the Holy Spirit, we ask you to fill us with your power, now comforting, now challenging, as you invite us to participate in the continuing creation, transformation, and renewal of our cosmos.

We confess the shortcomings in the past few weeks, the inadequacies we felt in ourselves, especially in our democratic processes, during the election campaign.

We first confess that we have seen injustice but failed to speak out. God, forgive us in your mercy.

We confess our lack of compassion, our inconsiderate thoughts and ill-considered words against our neighbours.

God, give us time to amend our ways and the occasion to say sorry, to heal our community.

God, we thank you for the chance to talk to our neighbours – to find common ground in discussion, to argue the best way forward.

We thank you for the election officers, the vote-counting staff, and all who carry out their duties without fear or favour.

We thank you for the glimpses of heaven as we campaign for your realm to realize itself, so your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

We thank you for the kairos moment, the opening, that three days after the elections, we still feel empowered, not resigned to fate, but actively watching and participating in the formation of our common history.

We thank you for the camaraderie among friends and comrades, as we walked together, ate and drank together, struggled and worked together.

We thank you for the civility and courtesy between rivals during the election campaign: A polite nod across the hall, leaving room for manœuvre; firm handshakes at the platform, building bridges for future co-operation.

We pray for the winners. May they retain their spirit of service. May they gain in humility and in wisdom.

We pray for those who lost. May they not be devastated in disappointment and grief, but stay hopeful and connected, continuing to contribute to their neighbourhoods.

We pray for our country, having elected a hung parliament for the first time in decades.

We pray for those in the process of forming a new government, not just those behind closed doors, but also those who gather to continue to engage, and those who contact their representatives to support and advise them in their exploration.

We pray that this process does not simply become an abstract power game, but a transformation that will hold this society together more coherently, keeping in mind all of our neighbours, especially those most vulnerable in our community, those who live among us but have no voice, and those in faraway lands whose lives are nonetheless affected by what happens in these our islands.

Almighty Father, we pray all this in the name of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit: one God, now and forever. Amen.

See also the earlier prayer ‘Praying for the elections, seriously’.

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One Comment

  1. On May 9, 2010 at 15:30 Graham said:

    Thanks for sharing this.