An Election Day Prayer from Father James Martin

Voters wait in line outside St. Francis Hall in Washington, Nov. 8 (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn).Voters wait in line outside St. Francis Hall in Washington, Nov. 8 (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn).

God, I know that I don’t have to get angry.

I don't have to get worked up.
I don’t have to get depressed.
 
I just have to use
my conscience
and vote.
 
So help me to remember
what Jesus taught in the Gospels,
and what our church teaches,
especially about the unborn, the poor,
the refugee, the migrant,
the sick, the homeless, 
the disabled, the hungry,
the elderly and the lonely.
 
Help me to remember the "least" among us,
and help me ponder in my heart
how to cast my vote for the good of all.
 
God, I know that no candidate is perfect,
because I'm not perfect either,
the last time I checked.
So free me of the burden of having to
vote for someone who satisfies
all my desires for a candidate.
My candidate will be imperfect,
like me.
 
Help me to be grateful for the ability to vote,
because not everyone has that privilege.
Help me to be at peace after I vote, too.
 
And when I meet people voting for someone else,
Help me to take a deep breath and
give them the benefit of the doubt,
because they are following their consciences, too.
 
Help me to remember
that even though they sometimes drive me nuts,
I don't have to argue with them,
I don't have to convince them,
I don't have to hate them,
And I don't have to demonize them.
 
Then, after the election, help me work for unity.
Because I know that’s what you want.
 
Amen.
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