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On Praying While Waiting for Election Results


After so many months of organizing and working, Election Day is here. We at Side With Love and UU the Vote are with you in this liminal time, our hearts full of every emotion as we await the results. Some of us will be on the doors and the phones til the very last poll closes; others will watch the news filter in around the edges of other everyday tasks. All of us are hoping for victories while acknowledging the possibility of disappointments, knowing that whatever happens as the votes are counted, the work of justice and liberation must carry on. 

So be with your people today, in body or spirit. Remember to breathe, hydrate, stretch, eat. If you haven’t already, go cast your vote (and remember to thank your local election officials!). If you are a poll worker or an Election Defender, be safe and know we are all behind you. And tonight, if you want to be in community, join us for our Election Night Watch & Wait Together event from 7-11pm ET/6-10pm CT/5-9pm MT/4-9pm PT– a space to channel our energy, to reflect, and to hold one another in love and care. 

Please receive the following poem-prayer as a gift from the Side With Love team to you, knowing we’re all together in the waiting tonight, just as we will be together in the work tomorrow and beyond. 

In faith and solidarity, 

The Side With Love Organizing Strategy Team

On Praying While Waiting for Election Results

By the Rev. Ashley Horan

November 8, 2022

There are no atheists in foxholes, they say–
Even fewer on campaign trails and in canvass headquarters
Those final hours before the polls are closed 

From living room shrines aglow with the flicker of cable news,
To the vaulted cathedrals of hotel ballroom campaign rallies,
To the well-worn pilgrim paths of routes now canvassed,
We, the people, become a cloud of witnesses in prayer

This sacred night, our murmurs are fervent – 
There is so much to lose. 
Will our pleas be heard? 
Will deliverance come? 

Perhaps it will; more likely it won’t. 
Salvation is a third-party candidate
In a tight two-way race. 

They say that prayer does not change god;
It changes those who pray.
A mundane discipline,
The daily practice of incarnating 
The yearnings of our hearts 
In the praxis of our lives.

Oh, how we have prayed this season:
Each letter, a hymn of praise to interdependence; 
Each doorknock, a gratitude for shared imagination; 
Each phone call, a vow that we belong to one another.

So, too, have we been changed:
Agnostics and organizers, supplicants and strategists
Ordained into co-creation
Anointed with responsibility
Restless with the knowing
That another world is possible
If we would make it so

There are many praying seasons;
A daily practice
Demanded by a world
In need of faithful labor
And incarnated prayer

Yet, tonight, we pray again
(It certainly can’t hurt)
For mercy, for tenacity, for hope: 

Spirit of Liberation, both here and beyond us,
Your extravagant love surrounds us.
Right here, right now, your will toward freedom beckons. 
Give us this day a taste of hope that all may not be lost;
Forgive us our apathy, our spite, our fear
So we may fight for those who will come after us.
Save us, we pray, from forsaking our future 
And deliver us from passively awaiting miracles
But grant us the courage to create the conditions of possibility
For ours is the kin-dom and the power to write the story,
Now and forever.   

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From our work for marriage equality, women’s suffrage, the abolition of slavery, for civil and voting rights, to advocating for a path to citizenship for immigrants, to taking on the ‘New Jim Crow’ and white supremacy today.

Unitarian Universalists have a legacy to carry onward.

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