Prayer: Temper Our Political Zeal

At last! Another feverish election cycle has finally come to an end, and all of us who are both Christians and MSNBC junkies have some soul-searching to do. Father, we’re so prone to want to enforce your kingdom on the entire planet, to write your commandments into the Constitution.

Beyond that, we do it with such clumsy and ham-handed zeal. Our posters are mean-spirited; we sign onto short-sighted petitions and we exchange haughty, divisive e-mails. We betray our selfish hearts by our placards and our NIMBYistic taxation ideas. We pray for the Supreme Court to be cut down and entreat you to send rain on our opponent’s convention speeches. Please forgive us for trying to usher in a heavenly kingdom by ballot-box power.

As this new Congress convenes and as candidates begin jockeying – already! – for yet another dizzying drive toward D.C., please help the church to be reborn as a quiet, loving agency of service. Help us to simply bless others with our grace and our prayers instead with our bluster. Make the global body of Christ a powerful army of unselfish volunteerism, of ecological care, and, yes, of visionary votes.