Random Nun Clips

Should I pray for my candidate to win?

Podcast Recorded: October 23, 2020
casting the ballot

As we look ahead to the next election, what's the best way for us to pray for a good outcome?

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Show Notes

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Transcript (Click for More)+

Sister Rejane  
This Random Nun Clip is brought to you by A Nun's Life Ministry.

Sister Maxine  
We have a question from Marianne in Illinois. And Marianne writes, "With the presidential election just around the corner, my husband says it doesn't matter that I pray for my candidate to win. He says God doesn't work that way. Even if that's true, is it still okay for me to keep praying that my candidate wins -- even if that only makes me feel good, because it's something I can do to help my country?" Marianne, thank you for that very timely question. I do appreciate it. Yeah, the elections are just around the corner. There's been some early voting already here in the Toledo area. So a lot of people have been out and about and I'm sure there's been a lot of praying going on in regard to this.

Sister Shannon  
I think there has been indeed. You ask such an interesting question, Marianne. Sister Max, and I talked about it a little bit even before we began, because of course, politics are a hot topic right now. As we consider that question, should I pray for my candidate to win -- I was reminded of a time years ago, when I was still an elementary school teacher. This would have been back in the 60s and 70s. And I said to some children who were planning a trip to Cedar Point, which is an amusement park near here. They were praying that God would give them a sunny day on Friday. And I said, "Well, what about the farmers who really need rain right now, because there's been a drought? How does God answer you and them at the same time?" It began a very interesting conversation among these 12- and 13-year-old children. But it got me to thinking also about where does God's will fit into the question? What do we really desire as we pray about candidates, or we pray about politics? And I think we start with the common good.

Sister Maxine  
I would agree with that. Because we gotta be careful about the default prayer. So I get one thing, and that means somebody else doesn't get another. And so it assumes that somehow, my good is higher than what good they may have. And I don't know that I am the best judge of that. I would like to think I'm a good judge, but let's face it: I would have to be omniscient to really know. Yeah, that question of the common good is what's the best for everyone. And I would add, especially people who are the most disadvantaged in our world.

Sister Shannon  
So we pray for God's guidance and grace and the power of the Holy Spirit active among all of the people of our country. We pray that they have a balanced point of view when they come to the polls, that they think about all of the issues and what it means to everyone, not just themselves personally. How will it affect the poor? How will it affect those who are truly in need in our society. And if we choose a candidate to support, we hopefully choose that individual because we see that their values match those values of my faith tradition, that their values will maybe not fulfill every need that's out there in the country in the way that I think it should be answered -- but they have a value system that supports life, that supports the common good, that supports care for the poor. I think that's where we look.

Sister Maxine  
And to recognize that not all the candidates may represent exactly where we are. So there's going to be some challenges as we sort through it all through the lens of our faith. And so it's not an easy process.

Sister Shannon  
So back to the question of should I pray for my candidate to win? I think it would have to come deeply out of your sense that this person is indeed the person who will meet those values and care for the common good. Then you pray for that to happen, as opposed to asking God to take sides.

Sister Maxine  
Right. And you pray for that to happen, regardless of which candidate ends up winning.

Sister Shannon  
In addition, it's very important for us as Christian people to also pray that whatever the results of the election, that we find God's action in it, that we trust God is involved, that we pray for whomever is elected, that they might be supported by our God. I think we don't only pray for what we want; we pray in support of the gift that we've been given.

Sister Maxine  
I think that's really important. You know, the prayer isn't going to stop with the election. Our elected leaders need our prayers. In addition to prayer, you know, the faith and action are hand in hand. Yes, good to pray for the candidate in their orientation of the common good -- also good: go out and vote.

Sister Rejane  
To hear full episodes of A Nun's Life podcasts, visit the podcast page at anunslife.org/podcasts.

This transcript has been lightly edited for readability.


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