To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Monday, June 24, 2024


Before Election Day Pastoral Prayer


Editor’s Note: On the Sunday before Election Day, this prayer penned by our friend, the Rev. Lori Walke, touched our hearts and provided sorely needed perspective as the ballot box battles rage. 

Holy One,

Just a few more days. Just a few more days of opening the mailbox overflowing with slick mailers covered with big promises. Just a few more days of muting fear-mongering television ads trying make us play small. Just a few more days until the ballots are counted and the results are announced. It has been a marathon, God, and we are tired, anxious, and standing in the need of prayer. So:

For the candidates who have thrown their names in the hat, who have missed birthdays, get-togethers, anniversaries, and sleep, the ones who will be held accountable for what they’ve said on our front porches – for the candidates, we pray.

For the families of candidates who know better than anyone the cost of public service, the time, the events, the speeches, the pride and joy, the slings and arrows – for the families, we pray.

For the campaign volunteers, staff, door-knockers, envelope stuffers, drivers, voter registration coordinators, yard sign deliverers, notaries, GOTV [get out the vote] canvassers, for everyone who has worked to make the process more open, more accessible, and more transparent – for these, too, we pray.

For ourselves, Holy One. We pray for us, as we fill in the small rectangles next to our candidates of choice, that we remember we are not voting just for ourselves. We are voting for the underserved, the underpaid, and the under-represented. We are voting for those whose voices have been marginalized, quieted, and silenced. We are voting for single moms putting food on the table while making sure homework is finished up and dads who work multiple jobs but still can’t afford health insurance. We are voting for the third grader who struggles to read on grade level and the teacher whose classroom hasn’t seen a new textbook in five years.

We know you will remind us, Holy One, that no matter what happens on Tuesday, we will still have work to do on Wednesday. And the next day. And the next day. We promise to have our sleeves rolled up.

But on Tuesday, may we vote to give Love the upper hand.

We pray in the name of Love itself, Amen.

– The Rev. Lori Walke is associate minister at Mayflower Congregational Church UCC in Oklahoma City