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Christians in US, worldwide gather to pray for presidential election

Christians in US, worldwide gather to pray for presidential election

Getty Images/George Frey

Petitions to God are coming, literally, from Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the Earth, as concern over the American election covers not only the United States but also the world.

There was a “special prayer session in the city of our forefathers in order to strengthen U.S. President Donald Trump, a lover of Israel,” explained Shlomo Ne’eman, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council. He governs part of the West Bank directly south of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Ne’eman described the moving of the U.S. Embassy to the Israeli capital and support for building in this region as victories under the Trump administration.

The president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, hosted a prayer meeting featuring the Rev. Paula White-Cain, Trump’s spiritual adviser. The group online featured a virtual “Who’s Who” of evangelicals, including Robert Morris, John Bevere, Tony Perkins, Eric Metaxas, Gary Bauer and many more.

“We’re thinking back to 2016; we were just so grateful for Your hand that moved in such a powerful way to elect our president and vice president,” prayed Pastor Jack Graham, senior pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church and former two-term head of the Southern Baptist Convention, “and now we’re believing and trusting you, O God, to do it again.”

Decidedly less partisan has been the Washington, D.C.-based Prayer & Action Justice Initiative, started just three months ago and backed by Prison Fellowship, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, National Day of Prayer and American Bible Society, among others. The initiative urged Christians throughout this week to pray daily for the election, candidates and leaders, cast an informed vote, serve their local areas, and be “civil and gracious” in tone in person and on social media.

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“In prayer, God reminds us of this truth: There is more that unites us in Jesus Christ than divides us in politics," said Stephanie Summers, CEO of the Center for Public Justice, in a press release. "On Election Day and every day after, we are invited to respond to God's call to do justice and love our neighbor through prayer and by working for the well-being of our political community."

The National Council of Churches, active in liberal causes, attempted to strike a nonpartisan — if sharp — note: “We lament that the United States has gravely splintered as we witness individuals demonizing their fellow Americans because of differing viewpoints and going to extremes to win at all costs, including undermining the dignity of those with whom they disagree.”

Praying across races and denominations were representatives of the men’s ministries of Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Church Zion and the United Methodist Church in a Zoom session. The first three are historically African American and in the 10 largest such bodies nationally, while the UMC is second only to the SBC in members among U.S. Protestant denominations.

Numerous local congregations and other groups have been asking God to bless the nation during election week. In Sacramento, California, 88.3 Life FM, a Christian station, led a gathering at a local Walmart to “pray for our great country,” a Facebook post said.

Blountville, Tennessee, saw several local pastors come together for a pre-election prayer vigil endorsed by Sullivan County Commissioner Mark Vance. “This event is to allow pastors and the community to come together and pray for our nation," he told the Bristol Herald Courier.

The 14 nuns in the Sisters of St. Joseph of Lyon in central Maine joined 174 other chapters of the Roman Catholic order to pray around the clock on Election Day. “Our hope is to have a peaceful election and that only good will come out of it,” Sister Janet Gagnon said to Central Maine. “That’s what we’re praying for, not only the president, but all those who have risked putting their names in for serving for whatever capacity they’re offering themselves.”

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