The recent presidential election has revealed great conflict and deep division, not only between the two principal candidates and their political parties, but also in American society. Even within the faith communities, there has been discord and animosity. Some news reports indicate from exit polling that four out of five self-described Protestant evangelical voters cast ballots for Donald Trump. On the other hand, progressive Protestants and Catholics have launched the “safety pin” movement to signal concern for those who, because of the election results, may feel vulnerable and of little value in society.
In the midst of this continuing tension, the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer has launched a Post-Election Prayer Campaign, seeking to create a discipline of deep prayer for the well-being of all of America’s citizens, and for God’s holy presence in the political rancor now and in the coming years.
“In one sense, the campaign season is over,” offered the Rev. Dr. John Throop, president of the AFP Executive Council. “In another sense, the campaign for the spiritual life of America has now begun.” The Anglican Fellowship of Prayer supports Presiding Bishop Michael Curry call to all parishes and their members to pray in these weeks after the election to help to bring healing and hope to our faith communities and to all Americans. “While these are difficult and, for some, perilous times, we also are in a unique and dynamic season of prayer for our nation and its leaders.”
“Throughout its 60-year history,, the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer has worked to help churches and their members to grow in their spiritual lives and to practice the art of prayer,” Throop said, and continuing; “Those of us in the leadership of this spiritual ministry in the Episcopal Church want to encourage all bishops, clergy and people to have confidence in prayer, knowing that, when we seek God’s help and trust in God’s holy grace, we can be still and seek after divine values of justice, love and peace even in these days of anxiety, anger and division.”
During the Post-Election Prayer Campaign, the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer will provide periodic “prayer points” to help those in prayer to focus on specific needs of the presidential transition. “With direction in prayer,” said Throop, “we are strengthening individuals, small groups and churches to seek God’s grace to protect this nation and its peoples, especially the vulnerable and the outcast.
“We’ve just celebrated the conclusion of the church year with the Feast of Christ the King,” Throop observed. “That’s a fitting reminder that we live in the dominion of God, and that all worldly power exercised by our elected and appointed leaders is given to them in trust, and that trust means that they are to be humble stewards of the power that. From a human point of view, they possess.”
Throop believes that the power of prayer certainly can calm our hearts and center our souls. “But there’s more,” he added; “We claim God’s promises to walk with us through difficult passages in personal and national life. We can rejoice in God’s might, and we can rest in God’s mercy.”