Call to Fasting and Prayer for 2020 Election

09.18.20 | Homepage | by The Rt. Rev. Fraser Lawton

    Very few hearts have been undisturbed over these last few months.  It seems each week brings some new trial, catastrophe, or disturbing event.  People respond in all sorts of ways to these things, including with deeper separation, violence, fear, or despair.  The approaching election has become fraught with anxiety and partisan extremism.  It has become a deeply troubled time in the nation.  As Christians, we do not respond with fear or despair, but turn to the Lord in trust and hope.  We remember that He is yet sovereign.  At this critical time in the history of this great nation, we have an opportunity to make a difference.  However, this difference is not according to the ways of the culture around us, but according to the grace of God (2 Corinthians 10:4).  Perhaps God has placed us in this land at this time “for such a time as this” (Ester 4:14).  However we might understand what is happening in the midst of politics, fires, pandemic, floods, and riots, we surely know that it “gets our attention” and makes us consider the situation of the world around us. You are invited and urged to respond by joining in 40 days of fasting and intercession in advance of November 3.

    Any Christian consideration of these things cannot help but see the evidence of a society parted from the ways of God.  We call this “sin.”  The response when we are aware of sin begins with confessing it before God.  As members of the nation, we also share in this brokenness and have the “authority” to bring it before the Lord in prayer.  There are several instances in scripture (Ezra 9, Nehemiah 9, Daniel 9) that give a precedent of how we may respond with vicarious confession of sin and with intercession. 

    Please join me and other believers in 40 days of fasting (as you are able and in a way meaningful to you), confession, and intercession beginning on September 24. Though there will be a variety of ways to live this out, you are encouraged to take time at noon each day for 15 minutes to join our corporate time of intercession.  Invite the Holy Spirit to lead you in your prayers.  This is not meant as an invitation to tell God who should win the election, but to come before Him in humility, seeking His mercy to transform this nation.  In my own prayers I will ask the Lord for His mercy, to forgive us, to bring transformation, to move us as a people to repentance, and to bring revival.  Our prayer book provides a number of resources to help shape our prayers.  Here are some suggestions:

    The Great Litany – p. 148

    The Collect for Ash Wednesday (p.166 or p.217)

    Prayers for Various Occasions - #9 (p.202 or p.254), #17 (p.207 or p.258)

    The Litany of Penitence from the Ash Wednesday service (p.267)

    Prayers for National Life (p.820 and following): #18, 19, 22, 24, 44

    Some may also wish to find safe ways to come together in prayer in this time.

    “…if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal their land…”  2 Chronicles 7:14


    The Rt. Rev. Fraser Lawton
    Rector, Church of St. Dunstan, Mineola
    Assisting Bishop, Diocese of Dallas