faith in action

Prayer for the U.S. Elections

Assistant General Secretary for U.N. and International Affairs offers this prayer for the election season in the U.S.

Lord, we lift up to you the work of the UN in promoting free, fair and honest elections within the rubrics of democracy and human rights.

“Democracy is a core value of the United Nations. The UN supports democracy by promoting human rights, development, and peace and security. The UN promotes good governance, monitors elections, supports the civil society to strengthen democratic institutions and accountability…”

We acknowledge, merciful God, that democratic institutions like the UN fall short of the fullness and design of your kindom. Still, we pray, that you bless the UN and its offices that support the flourishing of the democratic enterprise, including the monitoring and safeguarding of free, fair and honest elections, in the United States and everywhere.

We lift especially the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), the Department of Peace Operations (DPO), the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), among others.

Democracy is a critical linchpin of a just, inclusive and equitable governance system. Freedom of speech, assembly and expression forms part of the democratic panoply. In the same vein, just governance can thrive only when it is instituted and constituted through free, fair and honest processes, principally through the seeking the people’s mandate to legitimately claim the leadership mantle.

Free, fair and honest elections arise from the free and unhampered interplay of ideas in the public square. The prophet Isaiah admonishes us to “come and … reason together” (Isaiah 1:18). It is the deployment of words and reason rather than goons, guns and gold that will ensure free, fair and honest elections.

Empower us Lord that we may resist any and all efforts that hamper robust public discourse, so central to the tenets of democratic choice that elections are about. Help us to make such democratic choices, looking for those who run for public office, and seeking a mantle of leadership that arises from free, fair and honest elections. That mantle must be sought free from violence and intimidation.

We acknowledge that democracy is contestable, not so much because it is a fixed idea; far from it. It is contestable because its tenets and their practice are instituted in the crucible of ideas, propositions, and platform of governance that are tested in the battle of ideas (debates) launched in public squares.

May it be Lord, that we heed the warning of your prophet Isaiah when he warned us of God’s displeasure:

2 Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
3 For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things.
4 No one calls for justice; no one pleads his case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments and speak lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil…
14 So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter.
15 Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene…

God of history help us to intervene in the public square and plead for your case for a just, peaceable and sustainable world. May a free, fair, honest and safe election secure that world, you being our Guide.