I’ve made it a spiritual practice these past few weeks to only read the news once a day. This seems like a strange thing to have to be mindful of – in the old days, we all just read the morning paper and then went about our day, right? But now, with the internet and the 24-hour news cycle, there is always some new headline trying to grab our attention. And it seems like there has been more news than usual this year – everything from wildfires to the pandemic to a presidential election cycle. We are now in the last few days before election day, and I want to recommend this practice of limiting your news diet and perhaps replacing it with some more prayer time. A friend of mine has decided that every time she is tempted to pick up her phone to do some “doom scrolling” – -the new term for reflexively checking for yet more news headlines throughout the day – she is going to use the meditation or prayer app on her phone instead.
Two great apps (and websites) for doing just that are:
- Pray As You Go (https://pray-as-you-go.org/)
- Forward Day by Day (https://prayer.forwardmovement.org/)
We know that the election is probably not going to be finalized on election night, or even the next day, so it’s all more important to keep centered and prayerful. The in-between time is hard. We know this from when we’ve had to wait for the results of an exam, wait for a response to a job application, or wait for test results from our doctor. But that in-between time is also an invitation to prayer and being aware of God’s loving presence. No matter who wins the election, God will still be God and God will still be present with us always.
Prayer is always a good idea to help us get through stressful times, and there are many opportunities to pray in community this week:
- On Sunday, November 1 at 4 p.m. our Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, The Most Rev. Michael Curry, will be leading a prayer service from the National Cathedral in Washington DC. You can tune in here.
- On Monday, November 2 at 7 p.m. Rev. Frank Fornaro will be leading prayers and conversation on Zoom for the Redeemer community. This is a chance to pray together and get support from your Redeemer community. The prayers will be non-partisan, so please come in that spirit. The Zoom link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85102867008?pwd=emJjbW1ONnpaNkNzM0ozb1E0Sjg1dz09
- Our diocese will continue to hold prayer vigils each evening at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, November 3, 4, 5, and 6, hosted by the Cathedral. You can request the Zoom link here.