Jesus indicated that sometimes, in addition to prayer, we need to fast too. Good chance this is one of those times.
The disciples of Jesus spent nine days praying in Jerusalem after His ascension, waiting for the promised Holy Spirit. From that came the novena--a period of praying for nine days.
Put these all together and you get a novena of prayer and fasting for our nation--just in time for the election.
We could start on Monday, Oct. 31. (Halloween is a good day to pray too--lots of fun, but also some bad things tend to happen.) Pray every day through Tuesday, Nov. 8.
How about fasting--who can fast that long?
Well, it's not impossible, but it's probably impractical for most of us. But it doesn't have to be a total fast or an arduous one. If you can't fast on bread and water for nine days straight, how about having a simple dinner of soup and bread for nine days? Or fasting from snacks, or junk food, or TV, or even having the last word? Kinda like a nine-day Lent.
To make it more powerful, encourage others to join you. Maybe even tell one other person, one who knows you well, what your fast will be--not for glory but for accountability.
I received the prayer below for the election today. It looks like a good one. If you don't like it, edit it or come up with your own. Just pray!
Lord, have mercy on us. Don't give us what we deserve. Help us find our way to You. Help us to fall in love with You, think like you, act like You, love like You, live for You. Amen.
Election PrayerAlmighty God, Lord of Life and King of all Nations, we beg you to look kindly upon our country and help us to wisely choose our new leaders. Inform our consciences and enlighten our judgment, that we may elect those who will mercifully uphold justice and strive to protect the least among us. Help us to discern which candidates will uphold both the letter and spirit of the law. May our nation once again respect religious freedom, authentic marriage, the importance of family and the value of every human life--from conception to natural death. Heal the divisions which wound our unity and help us to overlook political tensions that keep us from becoming a united force for good. May our great land, built on both personal responsibility and charity towards the less fortunate, always balance prosperity with care for the elderly, the poor, the sick, and the abandoned. May we elect honest and trustworthy candidates who will always uphold the common good and protect our God-given rights. In concert with the great founders of our nation, may we confidently proclaim, "In God we trust." Amen.