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Election Day Prayer Vigil

The other day as I was having my prayer time, I was feeling very vulnerable and helpless, particularly in regard to the world situation. This is an ongoing occurrence these days, as things seem to be so chaotic, divisive and truly unpredictable. This chaos and distress in the air has a big impact on me, and I often bring that to my prayer. But when I can be with it, open and vulnerable, and listen, I often receive some sense of guidance or reminder of God’s abiding presence.

In this case, I received a message to do something. It came very concretely and surprised me in that it was so clear. I got a nudge to host a prayer vigil on Election Day in the United States for Shalem. As I sat with this, I realized that I did not want to feel alone all day on November 3rd, and that I would want to be praying with others and feeling connected in love and goodness and open to the Spirit. And even if I can’t be present the whole day in prayer with others, I know that some in the Shalem community are gathering to pray.

And so, this prayer vigil on Election Day, November 3rd, has come into being. It will go from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM ET, and every hour, on the hour, a different prayer leader will guide participants in some movement, or music or pictures, or words that invite us to turn our being toward the Holy One, the Ultimate Mystery that unites us. We know that there is great creativity as well as compassion when the Spirit is present and flowing. We will enter into the circle, carrying our deep prayers and longings for love and unity and for deep compassion to flow to all the hurting and broken places in our country.

All are welcome to join in this loving circle of prayer. I encourage you to join on the hour as that is when the various prayer leaders will change. You can stay for an hour or a part of the day. You can come for an hour in the morning and then come again later in the day. Whatever works for our schedules, let us gather in the heart of God that we may be channels of love, instruments of peace and open to the Divine ever more fully in our world.

Here are some words from Psalm 72 to guide our prayer:

Bring justice to the peoples, O Beloved, and your mercy to all generations!
May the people be known for mercy, rendering justice to the poor!
May every heart open to your love from sea to sea,
From the River of life out to the universe!
May fears that imprison the people
Be brought to the Light,
And rise from the depths!
May the leaders of nations from all the earth
Listen to your Word;
May they spend time in Silence
Before they counsel!
May the leaders surrender to your love, and the nations serve the Most High!
(Selected verses from Psalms for Praying by Nan Merrill)

Note: The Election Day Prayer Vigil will be on Zoom. A link will be sent out to the Shalem mailing list the morning of Election Day.  If you are new to Shalem and would like to join the mailing list to get the link, please click here.

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