Thursday, January 5, 2017

a prayer companion for the next four years

Evangelicals have found ourselves in an awkward place this election season — heavily courted and yet publicly disdained. One day wooed, the next betrayed. There has been no easy way to navigate political conversations with friends and neighbors as emotions run deep and issues flare. Choosing how to vote created a conundrum for many people. Which policies are most compatible with Christian faith? Which issues should be highest priority—the economy? immigration? the unborn? race relations? How much should a candidate's personal beliefs (or lack thereof) and character (or lack thereof) play into our decision?

Some Evangelicals concluded that the only Christian vote was a Republican vote because it had the best chance of overturning Roe vs. Wade or was most likely to preserve the freedoms enjoyed by Christian institutions. Other Evangelicals felt passionately that the Democratic candidate best embodied the biblical ideals of caring for the poor and the oppressed. Still others felt that neither candidate had the personal character necessary to occupy the oval office. Some of us voted for a third party candidate. Others abstained in protest.

Wherever you find yourself on that spectrum, if you consider yourself an Evangelical, like it or not the polls have securely linked the president-elect with your vote. That means the world is watching, and you will be blamed for whatever happens next. A change in leadership always brings opportunities and risks. Whether you are concerned about what these next four years may hold or you are celebrating regime change, I've got a book to recommend just for you.

In a world full of pressing needs and deep divisions, this book is a call to prayer and fuel for action. For those whose hearts are heavy, this is one way to transform your burden to focused prayer. For those who are optimistic about the incoming administration, this book will augment your prayers for our new president in ways that consistently reflect God's kingdom priorities.

Offering a quote each week and a Scripture verse for each day of this four-year administration, Praying for Justice functions like a lectionary. As the authors describe it,

The title of this book contains an invitation to pray for justice, but this book contains no overt prayers. Many of the more than fourteen hundred Bible passages contained here are prayers or portions of prayers. To read these texts is to be invited to join them in prayer.  
This book invites us to use each day's verse as a meditation or reflection for that day and each week's quotation as an examination of the ways in which your life images God's redemptive justice in the world. 
This book is also a call to action. Now is not a time for Christians to sit and trust that others will take care of people on the margins of our society. Christians must not content themselves with mere social media activism or personal piety. Christians must act often. Christians must act publicly. Christians must act sacrificially. Christians must act with courage and compassion. Christians must act as if it matters - because it does.
This book was a labor of love by three of my colleagues at George Fox University. Anderson, Steve, and Paula worked like the wind for four weeks straight after election day so that you could have this resource in your hands in time for the inauguration. All the proceeds will be donated to Church World Service, to aid them in their work resettling refugees.  You can order your copy on Amazon.


  1. Thanks for this good endorsement, Carmen!

    1. Thanks for all your hard work to put together such a great resource, Paula!

  2. Paula, congratulations on your part in truth-telling. Something the Christian community sometimes has difficulty doing. So, thank you.