Election Day is quickly approaching in the United States. Although any election season can be stressful, this year feels more stressful than others. For most of us, the places where we would usually find rest and prayer during times like these are not available. So, I have created a set of at-home prayer stations to use during this election season.
Each station includes three elements: a reading from scripture, a prayer activity, and a prayer to say aloud. They require minimal prep and can be done using objects you may already have on hand.
If you have children and youth in your household, do these stations together. Experiences like these teach our young people what it means to faithfully engage in our election process, builds empathy, and models what it means to strive for justice and peace on earth.
I will set up these stations in my home on the night of November 3rd, as a way to center myself and focus my energy on things other than constantly scrolling Twitter. However, these stations can be done at any time that is meaningful for you or your household.
Here are some tips for setting up at-home prayer stations:
- Set up so you are distraction-free. If you are doing this with others in your household, commit to a day and time together. Put away phones and other electronics. Practice the art of being present with God and one another.
- Pick a place for prayer that is accessible and comfortable. I set up prayer stations at the home altar in my living room. A coffee or dining table also works well. If you have a spare nook or bedroom, consider setting up a prayer space in there.
- Create a reflective and meditative space. Lighting a few candles helps me focus; quiet, instrumental music softly playing makes silence feel less awkward.
Prayer Stations for an Election:
Station #1: Breathe
- Read: John 20:21-22
- Prayer Activity: Light a strongly scented candle (or use potpourri, an oil diffuser, or something else that gives off a strong scent.) Sit in a comfortable position and breathe deeply. On an inhale, pray for a place in our nation and world where God’s peace needs to be known. On an exhale, say aloud these words of Jesus: “Peace be with you.” Repeat this breath prayer for as long as you’d like.
- Pray Aloud: Holy God, you are always with us. Remind us that you bring peace, and help us share that peace with others. Amen.
Station #2: Piecing Together
- Read: Matthew 5:43-45
- Prayer Activity: Complete a jigsaw puzzle. Each time you add a new piece, pray aloud for a person (or group of people) who are involved in the election process in some capacity. Try to intentionally pray for people with whom you don’t agree.
- Pray Aloud: O God, your love has no boundaries. Give us the grace to listen to one another, and respect the dignity of every human being. Amen.
Station #3: Headlines
- Read: Micah 6:6-8; John 8:12
- Prayer Activity: Read through headlines and news articles. If you can, use newspapers, or print off news articles from the day on which you are praying. As you read the articles, pray for the people and situations you read about.
- Pray Aloud: God of justice and peace, you sent Jesus to bring hope to the world. Open our hearts to share that hope with others. Amen.
Station #4: Resilience
- Read: 2 Timothy 1:7
- Prayer Activity: Play with rubber bands. Stretch them. Notice how they “bounce back” after you stretch them. As you play with the rubber bands, pray for the healing and resiliency of our nation after election day.
- Pray Aloud: Holy God, you give us the strength to live. Help us find the strength to live in our communities with respect and love. Amen.
How will you prayerfully prepare for election day?