Using Prayer to Make Election Decisions

Pixabay - praying angel

Pixabay - praying angelPope Francis “tweeted” the following statement about prayer a couple years ago:

“The one who listens attentively to the word of God and truly prays always ask the Lord: what is your will for me?” -Twitter, May 19, 2014

Prayer is Uniting with God

Wherever we are on the path of spirituality, prayer is a gift from God. Since He has created every single human, we all  can use prayer as a means to find answers about decisions in life, even in deciding on candidates in an election process.  Prayer is a combination of conversation with the Lord and of listening to Him. As Catholics, we thank Jesus Christ for the profound gift of His presence as we quiet our minds and hearts to be with Him. Incredibly, we can talk to and listen to God for whatever we may need since being with God is our true destiny. The conversations we have with Him offer us fulfillment. It’s wonderful knowing someone much greater than us can guide us in our decisions. In the process of praying, we know in our hearts God has not forgotten us even in the midst of our indecision and confusion. We can offer our quiet prayers to God to bring peace to every piece of news we hear about our country, especially in light of the upcoming election.

The Issues

There are many points to consider in an election. I will not detail all of these issues. The subject of the “economy” during an election process is usually at front and center.  Issues such as health care coverage, safety in our country, education, good job opportunities and more are discussed.  All are important.  People will weigh each point in different ways depending on demographic factors.  However, the most important and fundamental points are always those which continue to protect our freedom as Americans. For all who believe in human rights and the “natural law”, we are asked to consider those who are most vulnerable in our society: the elderly, sick, disabled, those without homes, families or support systems, and of great importance, the unborn. People who are not able to speak for themselves have a special place in our hearts when it comes to our voting decisions. As people of faith, we call on the Holy Spirit to give us God’s perspective that every human life that has been created has a place in this world beginning at conception until natural death. This is a protection for all of us since safeguarding lives and loving all people is  God’s wish. He loves every individual person no matter what. His love is endless for his creation regardless of anything that separates us, including religion, political views, race, sex or lifestyle.  His hope is that we can offer the same care for others as he does for us.

Being Kind when Voicing our Opinions

When we watch television, read news reports or discuss politics and the presidential election with our family and our friends, we may tend to view the issues from a distant perspective. Perhaps many of us do not have full knowledge of every issue or have personal experiences with the tough parts of life people go through.  Our greatest impact in this world will come through our daily interactions and those we see on a more frequent basis.  Sometimes in focusing on the broader aspects of life such as politics, we miss what is in front of us and our mission.  The gift of life and making a difference starts with our own hearts and in exercising the virtues of our faith.  This is how we bring peace to others and to the world.
In the world of social media, it’s sad how our views on politics and other opinions on life are used mostly as a way to alienate and separate us from our family, friends, and peers. Perhaps the best we can do is live our lives full of hope, joy, and love by “building bridges” with our peers on the things that bind us together and not those issues that separate us politically. Pope Francis has been praying for all of us in this “Year of Mercy” that the love of Christ and our own prayers we will be bound together in peace with God as our guide. We must believe that the love of God through prayer and respect for others that God will guide all of our ways.

God’s Mercy

It is no coincidence that our Holy Father has chosen 2015-16 as the “Year of Mercy”.  Mercy is God’s way of inviting us all under the same umbrella to celebrate what is most important in our lives and in His love.  As humans, we all undergo suffering, challenges, loneliness, isolation, and sadness. We also celebrate together a lot of joy and happiness. The mercy of Jesus Christ is the answer to the problems we encounter as a country. This mercy is available to everyone, not just Catholics and Christians.   As Catholics, we are fortunate to have living gifts in the Sacraments of the Church which offer us even more of God’s mercy. God wishes for all of his people to unite in this love. With the love of God and in prayer, we will be on the path to healing our nation, our world and our individual lives.  Following on the path of mercy with the Lord He will lead us to eternal happiness with Him one day in Heaven at the end of our lives. We find His mercy and love within His Will for all of us.

Decisions on the Election

With prayer and careful thought, we will make the right decisions when we vote in this presidential election. As our Holy Father stated in his meditation with the “Word of God and in asking him for his help” we will find His Will. The answer we receive in prayer may not feel like definite assurance for our hearts, but in coming closer to Him in prayer we will find our rest.   In the quiet moments of alone-time during our prayer, we will be moved in one way or the other in our process of deciding on the important issues of life.  It is then that we will have peace to whatever outcomes are ahead for our country and for our individual lives.  Be blessed in Him.

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13 thoughts on “Using Prayer to Make Election Decisions”

  1. Dear Lord, please help me discern which candidate and political party despises Church teachings and fully supports partial birth abortion, gay “marriage” and full GLBT agenda.
    Dear Lord, please help me discern which candidate is indifferent to but certainly not an enemy of the Church and is essentially proLife/proFamily.
    And thank you, Lord, for Holy Benedict and Mother Angelica, who would both vomit at the thought of voting for a partner in a criminal enterprise masquerading as a “foundation”.

  2. Jesus said he would bring division; basically those who choose to support evil and those who choose good will always be at odds. Seems to me prayer for discernment of evil is needed, then for the grace and courage to make the choice to follow God. The rest is vanity.

    1. Thanks to both of you for the comments. Appreciated. Howard, may I suggest if you haven’t yet, consider becoming a writer for a publication such as this one or something else. We all have different styles of writing and “evangelizing”. Mine is different than yours. Give it a go if the spirit leads. My path on this journey is different than yours or others, however I continually pray that God will inspire me to bring His love to all which I believe is His Will. Lord, guide my path. Thanks.

    2. …That’s not exactly what Jesus said. that is your interpretation. A test without a context is a pretext for having it say what you want. Jesus was not correlating good and evil and divisions between family, friends, etc. He spoke in the context of OT rabbinical belief “stoning an adultress” vs “those without sin casting the first stone” or paying a duty of bride price, or genocide of the Canaanites, etc vs. love one another. It was in the context of old teachings and His new law….nothing is without a context … it applied to then….study context biblical scholarship.

    3. Thank you Adam. When you sat “that’s not exactly what Jesus said”…not sure which piece or exactly what part in my article you are referring to. I don’t recall stating in my piece that all of what I referred to and stated were Jesus exact words. Part of my reference came from the Holy Father Father and “inspired” by Scripture and our faith. Thanks.

  3. In the world of social media, it’s sad how our views on politics and other opinions on life are used mostly as a way to alienate and separate us from our family, friends, and peers. Perhaps the best we can do is live our lives full of hope, joy, and love by “building bridges” with our peers on the things that bind us together and not those issues that separate us politically.

    If being alienated and separated “from our family, friends, and peers” is a bridge too far, you will certainly fall away during the coming persecution, whether it be hard (like under Diocletian) or soft (like under Julian the Apostate).

    So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. — Matthew 10:32-38

    1. Thanks for your reply. I understand your point. Standing by our beliefs is essential and truly Christian. However, as indivisuals in life and in spreading the faith I believe our greatest calling is love, serving the poor, forgiving enemies and sacrifice. Yes, standing by our beliefs. But it is my understanding that we will be judged on how well we loved even those hardest to love and our “enemies”. The Church will grow when we imitate our Lord in service to all people, even those unlike ourselves. Our current Holy Father is a wonderful role model for the entire world. Thank you for sharing.

    2. We are clearly told that loving our neighbors is the second greatest commandment (Matthew 22:36-40). That means it is important, but not the most important commandment. Along with the passage from Matthew 10, this makes it abundantly clear that we have to have priorities. Unless we love God first, we cannot properly love anyone else.

      Also, loving someone does not mean avoiding at all costs rocking the boat. St. Thomas More loved Henry VIII, but he would not give Henry the answer the king wanted. The mother of seven sons in 2 Maccabees 7 loved her sons, but she encouraged them to accept torture and death rather than eat pork, which violated the Law of Moses, but did not violate the Natural Law. St. Francis loved Pietro Bernardone, but he told him, “Hitherto I have called you my father on earth; henceforth I desire to say only ‘Our Father who art in Heaven’.”

    3. Two more things. There is no hint of scare quotes when Jesus tells us to love our enemies. It was Will Rogers who said, “A stranger is just a friend [you haven’t] met yet” — it was not Jesus. Jesus knew that there really are enemies in the world — not just the kid who didn’t invite you to the party in high school or the secretary who gossips about you or the jerk who cut you off in traffic, but real and very serious enemies. The fact that you think this is some sort of joke worthy of scare quotes is a further indication that you are not ready to face that kind of trial. I hope that neither of us has to face it, but the possibility that we will is very real.

      Secondly, it’s hard not to think your “building bridges” preference would have led you to advise the youngest of those seven sons to accept the offer of Antiochus. Surely if he merely ate the pork and accepted the friendship of the king and the high office (2 Maccabees 7:24), he would be in a better position to influence Antiochus, right? This is the kind of excuse given whenever a priest or bishop wants to rub shoulders with a celebrity (usually a politician) who is pushing an evil agenda.

    4. I wrote this article as “food for thought” for those who may or may not consider God or praying about election decisions. I don’t have much more to add to what was already discussed in my writing. But, I thank you for your dialogue with me.

    5. I don’t think many people read “Catholic Stand” who would not consider God or praying about elections.

      I probably came across too strongly in my comments last night, but we have lost our country largely because too many Christians were unwilling to make waves when their friends and families started slouching towards Gomorrah, to borrow a phrase from Robert Bork. Even when we have expressed disapproval, experience teaches our opponents that all they have to do is wait a few years and we will accommodate it as the new status quo, or at most we will throw our votes at politicians whose interest in our causes ends with election day. We have been a timid bunch of milksops, and as a result the culture is against us, the government is against us, our children are against us, and our generation will not see the return of moral sanity to this country. Christians are already beginning to be driven from positions in academia, in government, in pharmacy, in medicine, and in other key positions in society if they will not obey the Zeitgeist, and there is every prospect of this getting much worse. We simply cannot go on pretending that peace at Thanksgiving dinner is the summum bonum; it is explicitly contrary to Scripture, and even if it were not, we have seen that it leads to bad results.

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