Offered by Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune, EPI Director
Gracious and Merciful God, Our Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer,
On this eve of Election Day in the United States, we lift up those living in poverty before You for whom the outcome of this election will make a real difference. So often those living in poverty are treated as “them” and not us. So often the circumstance of their living conditions seems to dictate the path of their lives with others forgetting that they are Your children, made in Your image and likeness and fearfully and wonderfully made. We are grateful, O Lord, that You see us for who we are purposed to be.
We pray that those who are elected during this election cycle will seek to lead our country with hope and concern for the most vulnerable. We pray for leaders who will serve our nation with a vision of a promising future for all who live within America’s borders and not just a select few.
We pray that those who are elected during this election cycle will not legislate out of stereotypes or caricatures of the poor created by those who only wish to exploit them, but instead will be committed to enact policies with justice and righteousness at the forefront of their minds and evident by their actions.
We pray that all eligible voters across the economic spectrum will exercise their right to vote and cast their ballots for candidates who are committed to ending poverty and injustice when the cameras are off, social media is down and behind closed doors.
We pray that people in communities throughout this nation – urban, suburban, rural, wealthy and economically disadvantaged – will be able to vote without obstacles, fear tactics, bullying or any other form of voter disenfranchisement or intimidation getting in the way of the democratic process.
We pray that candidates will be elected who will no longer blame poor people for being poor without acknowledging the systems and policies that are in place that keep people living in impoverished conditions – under-resourced schools, unfair and unjust wages, economic exploitation by those who use poverty to steal from the poor, institutional racism and implicit bias and an unjust criminal justice system that ruins the lives of families and communities ruthlessly and unnecessarily.
We pray for elected officials who will care about childhood hunger and nutrition, a living wage and wage theft, the intersection of racial and economic disparities, criminal justice reform, maintaining safety net programs and creating more job training programs and opportunities, an education system that fully educates all children regardless of zip code, affordable housing for all and continuing to make sure there is quality, accessible and affordable health care for everyone.
We pray for elected officials who will have courage to speak up and fight for those living in poverty and who are not afraid to stand up for justice and righteousness and against policies that hurt those most in need.
We pray that candidates will be elected who have a vision of hope and not despair, who will fight for all people and not against the most vulnerable and who are dedicated to using their position to close and not widen economic, racial and social chasms that keep us from fulfilling the promise of this nation.
Hear our prayer, O Lord, according to your lovingkindness, tender mercies and abundant grace.
In the Name of the One who came to remove all barriers and to establish justice and righteousness on earth as it is in heaven, we pray.