Time to Pray for “the Other Guy”

post date: October 18, 2008
Last night during my sermon on loving your enemies, I was convicted about something. That doesn’t happen very often—conviction while I’m preaching, I mean. I’m usually convicted about my shortcomings during the ongoing, ordinary, day-to-day stuff of life.
Who is the “other guy"? It’s the guy I’m not voting for on November 4. Doesn’t matter what his name is because I’m not voting for him. I’ve made up my mind and I can’t be moved away from my decision. There isn’t anything he could do or say that could change my vote. Let me say frankly that your “other guy” may be the guy I’m going to vote for. Fine. So be it. I’m not here to tell you how to vote or even to argue the matter.  
But the increase in hostility, frustration, malice, name-calling, taunting, dissembling, rumor mongering, and general anger about the election can be seen and heard and felt all over the country. If I were so inclined, I could do a rhetorical flourish and say, “And all this name-calling and hostility and the animosity that exists, it must stop here and now.” That and about $5 might get you a nice cup of fancy coffee. The animosity isn’t going to stop because people are increasingly dug in about “their guy.”
So I propose something more modest and achievable. Starting today, say a prayer for “the other guy"  and his running mate every day between now and November 4. And don’t use prayer as a weapon against him. Pray for him, for his wife and children, pray for God’s blessing upon him. Pray for God to guide his steps. Pray that God will speak to him and that he will listen.
We all have a role to play. Through prayer we can do our part to free ourselves from anger and frustration by praying for someone with whom we have profound differences. Since I truly believe in the power of prayer, I think the “other guy” will benefit somehow from  my prayers. I know it will do my own soul good.
So that’s my commitment. I’m going to pray for the “other guy” every day between now and November 4. Care to join me?

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Ray Pritchard
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