Pandemic Ponderings of the Transitional Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley

November 2, 2020

Sue Westfall

Tomorrow is election day for the United States and tensions in the country are running high. The following is a prayer written by one of my colleagues. Rev. Brian Heron. It expresses both the chaos of our time and the deep hope in God’s time. On this eve of the election, will you pray it with me?

Dear God,

I seem to be coming to you with no words. I am not sure what I am asking for or what I should be asking for. At moments I feel completely stymied by the overwhelming series of events that continue to flood our nation. The sheer scope of it leaves me paralyzed, unsure of which way to act and which crisis to attend to first. At times, O God, a helplessness so uncharacteristic of me seems to seep into my bones. I am not a person given in to inaction and complacency, but at moments, I feel like I am frozen in my tracks.

I have no words, God. I want to offer some hopeful message. I want to provide some wise analysis of this chaotic and uncertain time. I want to be able to make sense of it all for others, playing the role of the spiritual guide and soulful companion that I have become accustomed to. I want to say, “We’ve got this, folks!  All we’ve got to do is work a little harder and hang on a little longer.” But I don’t know that. I no longer trust that the answer is just that we’ve got to work a little harder and hang on a little longer.

And so, O God, I have no words. All I have is my broken self, reaching out to you in honest desperation. I wishI had more.

I have no words, God. But I do have some hope. It’s not a hope based on a picture of a future I can see. It’s a hope rooted in the belief that there is an essential goodness to the world.  My hope is in you – you who sit there ready to listen when we are ready to show up.

I have no wise words for the world today. But, I do have a prayer.

  • I pray that you will give us what we need for the world that awaits us Wednesday morning.
  • I pray that no matter what happens in this election that we will not turn on each other.
  • I pray that the anger and rage of our recent history will find its way into paths of healing.
  • I pray that your justice will undergird our actions and our communities.
  • I pray that love will heal us and if we cannot love then we will at least set aside our hate.
  • I pray that you give us the strength to do the long, hard work of reconciliation.
  • I pray that this national nightmare that has divided our nation will finally end.
  • I pray that grace will win out over vengeance.
  • I pray that however we move through this pandemic that we will do it together.
  • I pray that hearts will be softened toward each other.
  • I pray that suspicion will no longer linger just behind our eyes.
  • I pray that we will care as much about what happens to our neighbor as we do about what happens to us.
  • I pray for an imagined world of unity and mutual care.
  • I pray for life to feel humane again.
  • I pray for things that only seem to show up in my dreams.

I pray that our grandchildren will be proud of how we handle this moment. I really have no words today, O God. I just have a prayer. May that be enough.

 Edgewood Presbyterian Church is preparing a brief service for election day itself. You can catch it tomorrow (Tuesday) at

I am participating in the  mid council Fall Polity Conference  this Wednesday and Thursday which conflicts with the Thursday gathering so we will not have the Thursday gathering this week.

As ever in prayer,

Sue Westfall

Comments are closed.