In 2020, I developed a set of prayer stations that could be used at-home for personal prayer and reflection before, during, or after the presidential election. As the United States nears the 2022 midterms, I decided to create a new set of prayer stations to be used during this election season. These stations provide people with tangible ways to pray for our communities and leaders as we continue to navigate how to interact with each other in politically divided times.
Each station includes three elements: a passage of scripture, a prayer activity, and a prayer to say aloud.
In addition to requiring require minimal prep, the prayer stations use objects you likely already have on hand. They are also flexible— you can do them at home (either individually or as a household) or for use by your parish and community. If you are hosting a prayer vigil for the election, these are a great addition. The stations can be set up for all ages.
Here are some tips for setting up prayer stations:
- If setting up at home, pick a place that that is accessible, comfortable, and free of distractions. A coffee or dining table works well. If you have a spare nook or bedroom, consider setting up a prayer space in there. Put away phones and other electronics. Be present with God.
- Create a reflective and meditative space. Lighting a few candles helps me focus; quiet, instrumental music softly playing makes silence feel less awkward. If you are setting this up in a space that will not be occupied or monitored constantly (for example, in a worship space), I recommend using battery-operated candles.
- If setting up in a church or other public place: Set up prayer stations throughout the space and encourage people to spend time at the stations that speak to them. Spread stations out so that each one has its own sense of privacy. At each station, place signs with the text of the scripture passage (or a Bible marked with the appropriate passage), the activity instructions, and the prayer for that station. If you are using these during a larger worship gathering, I suggest setting up one station for every 5 people (you can set up multiples of a station if needed).
Prayer Stations for an Election
Station #1: Light
- Read: Matthew 5:14-15
- Prayer Activity: Jesus calls us to be lights for him and his love. Play with a flashlight or two. Turn it on and off. Turn it on and move the light around. As you play with the light, reflect on these questions: Where does the light of Christ need to shine in our nation and world? How can you shine Jesus’ light so that others see it? Pray for our communities, elected leaders, and ourselves; that in decision making and interactions with others, the light of Christ is shared.
- Pray Aloud: God of love, you call us to share light and love with others. Help us share the light of Jesus with all nations and peoples. Amen.
Station #2: Shoes
- Read: Isaiah 52:7, Matthew 28:18-20
- Prayer Activity: Line up a variety of shoes (sneakers, slippers, dress shoes, rain boots, etc.) As leaders (and followers of Jesus), we all wear different kinds of shoes. As you look at the shoes, pray that you have the courage to go out and share the love of Jesus with others. Pray that all people know the goodness of God’s love through the words and actions of your community’s leaders.
- Pray Aloud: Mighty God, you call us to go out lead so that all may know the way of your love. Give all people the courage to show your love through words and actions. Amen.
Station #3: Mirrors
- Read: Ephesians 2:10
- Prayer Activity: Look in a mirror (or two). When you look in the mirror, what do you see? How do we measure our worth? How does God measure our worth? Even in our differences, how can we remind people that they are valued children of God? Pray that we love all people, remembering that they are beloved children of God.
- Pray Aloud: God of all creation, you love each and every part of us. Fill me with your love and remind me to seek you in all people. Amen.
Station #4: Healing
- Read: Jeremiah 17:14
- Prayer Activity: On a length of gauze (or a band-aid) write where you see the need for healing in our nation and world. Tie (or place) these bandages on a stuffed animal, as you pray for God’s healing love and power for these people, places, or situations. Pray for the healing of our broken relationships, systems, and communities.
- Pray Aloud: Holy God, you give us life and health. Comfort and heal us in our brokenness and help us work for justice and peace in all situations. Amen.