Participate in these weekly practices—for this election season and beyond—to help you connect with God and others as you seek to become a Kingdom Citizen.
Week 7: The Gathering & Sending • Seeking Justice
Isaiah 58:1-12. Note how true worship is more than rituals, such as prayer and fasting, but instead always about pursuing justice.
See the first “Prayers for Election Season” which is a prayer for shalom, the Hebrew word for peace. Shalom means more than just the absence of conflict but also means wholeness and flourishing. In Scripture, justice creates conditions for shalom. Consider praying it responsively after dinner one night this week with others in your home.
In his book, Generous Justice, Tim Keller says, “Doing justice includes not only the righting of wrongs, but generosity and social concern, especially toward the poor and vulnerable. This kind of life reflects the character of God. It consists of a broad range of activities, from simple, fair, and honest dealings with people in daily life, to regular, radically generous giving of your time and resources, to activism that seeks to end particular forms of injustice, violence, and oppression.” This week, consider: is there a way God is calling you to be more generous with your time or money for the sake of His justice in the world? Are there ways you could spend less on yourself so you can give more to the things that matter to God?
WEEK 6: THE OFFERING • LETTING GO
Psalm 46:10, Psalm 62:8, Isaiah 43:18-19
In order to acknowledge God’s authority in our life, we must continually surrender our full selves to Him. Read this prayer and sit in a posture that reflects letting go: palms facing up and open, head up and ready to trust in God. The Wesley Covenant Prayer by John Wesley (1703-1791) states it well:
“I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will, place me with whom you will.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be put to work for you or set aside for you,
Praised for you or criticized for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and fully surrender all things to your glory and service.
And now, O wonderful and holy God,
Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer,
you are mine, and I am yours.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
Let it also be made in heaven. Amen.”
Take time this week to notice when you try to grab for more control, whether that is literally or figuratively. Pause instead of reacting, and invite the Holy Spirit to help you sit in, react with, or speak from a posture of openness and trust that God is present, sees what you are going through, and is carrying you through it. Proclaim trust in God while letting go.
WEEK 5: THE PRAYERS • ASK
Prayer is a direct connection with God. Prayer has the power to transform not only the situation or person we are praying about, but our hearts, as well. Read this article from World Vision on what it looks like to pray for others during this election season.
Author Anne Lamott says the three essential survival prayers are “Help!” “Thanks!” and “Wow!” Try praying with a psalm this week to express your need for God’s help (Psalm 6 or 89), your gratitude (Psalm 107), or praise (Psalm 98).
Choose an elected official to pray for this week.
WEEK 4: THE TABLE • LOVE YOUR ENEMIES
Galatians 5:6, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
This week, spend time every day praying for the candidate you did not vote for and pray for the people who did vote for them. Pray for them in such a way that builds them up, encourages them, and glorifies God. If you’re struggling for words, try this “Prayer for the Human Family” from the Book of Common Prayer:
“O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Pick a random act of kindness to do this week: buy the coffee of the person behind you in the Starbucks drive-thru, ask the grocery store attendant how their week is going, invite a new student to sit with you at lunch, bring a polling place donuts, etc.
WEEK 3: THE PRAISE • MIND/THOUGHTS
Philippians 4:8-9 and write out the verses, underlining or highlighting what we are invited to think about. Post it somewhere you will see it every day.
Set a timer and spend five minutes each day this week in silent reflection. Use Philippians 4:8-9 as a guide to help you remember what God calls you to dwell on. Reflect on the ways that you have seen God show up to you in things that are “excellent” or “praiseworthy.”
Examine and make a list of your sources of media intake. Pick one to fast from (newspaper, cable news network, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) this week. See what type of space this creates in your life for more of the excellent and praiseworthy things Philippians talks about. Want to take it a step deeper? Check out Kaitlyn Schiess’s suggestion for a media intake audit here.
WEEK 2: THE WATERS • BELONGING
Acts 2:42-47. What practices characterized the baptized community that understood they belonged to Jesus?
Think about friends or neighbors who you know think or believe differently than you. As one who belongs to Jesus, spend time praying for them—for their well-being and that they would know Jesus.
To cultivate a community of belonging, rather than division or isolation, commit to these three practices when having conversations this week: 1. Ask a question 2. Pause before responding 3. Always include an affirmation or a kind word no matter what.
WEEK 1: THE WORD • AUTHORITY
“The Stories Our Politicians Tell” from Christianity Today.
For further reflection: What story has most authority in your life?
Read Psalm 46 or Psalm 113 and thank God for the ways His power and authority are at work to bless the world and care for the needy.
Because we’re part of a story that shows we are not the ultimate authority, try using this phrase when having conversations (political or otherwise): “But I could be wrong” or “I can see your side” or “But there’s a lot of information I don’t have.”