‘Perfect love casts out fear.’ — 1 John 4:18
Pastoral Prayer (adapted)
We live in fearful times.
A world swept by pandemic, racism, climate change, economic crises—
these are overwhelming realities.
Hold us in our fears.
When candidates in elections prey on these fears,
painting pictures of disaster,.
help us to keep our heads in such moments.
Help us to listen to each other,
to hear past the hateful words to the underlying fear.
Hold us in your love, and remind us
that you never leave us. Ever.
Help us to live into our best selves,
even as others try to bring out our most fear-driven traits.
Keep us both listen intently and speak boldly, standing up to corrupt powers.
Use our votes for justice and right-ness.
Inject the terror we feel with hope.
Thank you for your love.
May it sustain us always in working for your realm. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
O God, who casts healing light into deep and shadowed places,
We confess to finding ourselves saying hateful things out of fear of the other—
those of different skin colour, religion, sexual orientation, culture,
economic status, educational level, or ability.
We are not being our best, most loving selves.
Fear does not bring out the qualities that you invite us to practice:
compassion, generosity, mercy, and love of neighbour—
even love of strangers.
There are countless ways to succumb to our fears.
Do not let them have dominion over us.
Keep reminding us of your commandment to live in love,
even during times of adversity,
as Jesus did.
Let us never give up hope in you,
our rock and our redeemer.
And let us never give up trying to be
our best, most loving selves,
as you would have us be.
Justice Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ USA collaborated with Faith Formation Ministries during the 2016 election season to offer these prayers. They gave them freely, saying, ‘Take and adapt!’ which I have done. The originals were posted on Worship Ways, edited by Sue Blain at firstname.lastname@example.org.