Some friends of mine sent me an invitation to join them in prayer at noon from wherever each of us is, each day of both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, for 5 minutes — or longer and more often if you can. Actually these friends of mine don’t use the language of “prayer”. Rather they invite us to “Energize a ‘Field of Love’ in Tampa & Charlotte to support the intention for civil discourse and dissent during the national political conventions. Envision a “field of love” (mutual regard, respect, compassion) and peace (calm, composure, non-violence) surrounding the delegates, media representatives, police, and protestors during the conventions.”
In light of our conversation Sunday morning I want to invite the Missio Dei community to join us in this prayer practice. To ground this in our Jesus tradition, below is a passage from Walter Wink’s The Powers That Be (I have studied the longer version, Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination, 5 times since Sojourners published the excerpt on prayer in 1990 and heartily recommend it for excellent Bible study of God’s kin(g)dom!! http://sojo.net/magazine/2010/12/walter-wink-reading-list
“Intercessory prayer is spiritual defiance of what is in the name of what God has promised. Intercession visualizes an alternative future to the one apparently fated by the momentum of current forces. Prayer infuses the air of a time yet to be into the suffocating atmosphere of the present.
“History belongs to intercessors who believe the future into being…
“This is the politics of hope. Hope envisages its future and then acts as if that future is now irresistible, thus helping to create the reality for which it longs…These shapers of the future are the intercessors, who call out of the future the longed-for new present. In the New Testament, the name and texture and aura of that future is God’s domination-free order, the reign of God.
“No doubt our intercessions sometimes change us as we open ourselves to new possibilities we had not guessed. No doubt our prayers to God reflect back upon us as a divine command to become the answer to our prayer. But if we are to take the biblical understanding seriously, intercession is more than that. It changes the world and it changes what is possible to God. It creates an island of relative freedom in a world gripped by unholy necessity. A new force field appears that hitherto was only potential. The entire configuration changes as the result of the change of a single part. A space opens in the praying person, permitting God to act without violating human freedom. The change in even one person thus changes what God can thereby do in that world.” (pp185-186).
So, let us pray together with my other friends that a field of love will surround all who are involved in the conventions. And that God’s dream for the world might lure all of us away from the reign of Empire, which both national parties are serving in 2012.
Mary Ann Holtz