...because where would you need to pray more than in a voting booth or when you mail in your ballot?
This prayer is (mostly) not a prayer about winning or getting other people on your side. It's a prayer that we learn to work together to create a better future. It incorporates a pledge to do one thing for healing the world, for tikkun olam.
Behold, I am intending
through my vote | through my prayer
to seek peace for this country,
as it is written (Jer. 29:7):
"Seek the peace of the city
where I cause you to roam
and pray for her to YHVH (Hashem/Adonai/God),
for in her peace you all will have peace."
May it be Your will, YHVH, that votes
be counted faithfully
and may You count my vote
as if I had fulfilled this verse
with all my power.
May You give a listening heart
to whomever we elect
and may it be good in Your eyes
to raise for us a good government
to bring healing, justice and peace
to all living in this land
and to all the world, and upon Jerusalem,
a government that will honor the image of God
in all humanity and in Creation,
for rulership is Yours.
Just as I have participated in the election
Give to all the peoples of this country
so may I merit to do good works
and to repair the world through all my efforts,
and through the act of... [fill in your pledge]
which I pledge to do today
on behalf of all living creatures,
in remembrance of the covenant of Noah's waters,
to protect and to not destroy
the earth and her plenitude.
the strength and will to pursue righteousness
and to seek peace as unified force
to uproot racism and violence
and to make healing, good life and peace flourish
here and throughout the world
and fulfill for us the verse (Ps. 90:17):
"May the pleasure of Adonai our God
be upon us, and establish
the work of our hands for us,
and make the work of our hands endure."
Special addition for the 2020 election (in Hebrew and transliteration in the pdf):
Tear out tyranny and despotism.
Ruin those who cheat and deceive.
Upend and overthrow those who oppress the vulnerable.
Make the reign of the arrogant disappear from the land.
Pulverize the plans of those who attack democracy.
Obstruct them, humble them, and bring on their downfall,
soon, in our days.
This addition fits before the paragraph beginning, "Give to all the peoples of this country the strength and will to pursue righteousness".
The synchronicity in 2006 of the election with the end date of Noah's flood inspired me to write a voting prayer that focused on the covenant after the flood, which was a covenant with all living creatures.
Each person has their own way of understanding tikkun olam, so please change those lines according to your own vision of a perfected world. What is important is that we need both to vote and to take action to make our prayers a reality. What can you personally commit to doing? Pick something you can fulfill
and incorporate it into your prayer.
The version I wrote for inauguration 2008:
May it be good in Your eyes to give a wise heart to this government
to bring justice and peace to all the inhabitants of the world and to Jerusalem,
as it is said, "The one who rules through justice upholds the land" (Prov. 29:4),
and may its rule be for good and blessing
for rulership is Yours!
As I stand in witness of this inauguration and in prayer,
I also pray that I may seek peace for this country,
and I pledge to..[fill in your pledge]...
on behalf of all living creatures and in remembrance of the covenant of Noah's waters
to protect and to not destroy the earth and her plenitude.
May it be Your will that I do good deeds and repair the world with all my actions...
YHVH and Adonai are Hebrew names for God.
The first is usually translated as "The Lord" and is the source of the name "Jehovah", but it is actually derived from the verb "to be". It means something like "Source of Being". The second means "my Lord", and is the word we traditionally say when we read YHVH, which is considered too holy to pronounce. But Adonai is also a name of God in its own right.
"A listening heart" or lev shomei'a is what Solomon asks God for when he becomes king of Israel.
You can copy the Hebrew at the bottom right and edit. Please modify, rewrite and reprint in any way you need to fit your own hopes and prayers. If you rewrite it to share with others, please keep it not explicitly partisan.
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הַרֵינִי מְכָוֵון בְּהַצְבָּעָתִי ׀ בִּתְּפִילָתִי
לִדְרֹש שָׁלוֹם בְּעַד הַמְדִינָה הַזֹאת כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב
וְדִרְשׁוּ אֶת שְׁלוֹם הָעִיר אֲשֶׁר הִגְלֵיתִי אֶתְכֶם שָׁמָּה
וְהִתְפַּלְלוּ בַעֲדָהּ אֶל ה' כִּי בִשְׁלוֹמָהּ יִהְיֶה לָכֶם שָׁלוֹם
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ ה׳ שֶׁהָהַצְבָּעוֹת יִמָּנוּ נֶאֱמָנוֹת
וְתִמְנֶה הַצְבָּעָתִי כְּאִלוּ קִיָּמְתִי הַכָּתוּב הַזֶה בְּכָל עָצְמָתִי
תִּתֵּן לֵב שׁוֹמֵעַ לְמִי שֶׁאָנוּ בּוֹחֲרִים
וְטוֹב יְהְיֶה בְּעֵינֶיךָ שֶׁתִּשָׂא עַלֵינוּ מֶמְשָלָה טוֹבה
שֶׁתָּבִיא רְפוּאָה וּמִשפָּט וְשָׁלוֹם לְכָל יוֹשְבֵי הָאָרֶץ הַזֹאת
וּלְכָל יוֹשְבֵי תֵבֵל וְעַל יִרוּשַׁלָיִם
מֶמְשָלָה שֶׁתְּכַבֵּד הַצֶלֶם בְּכַל אָדָם וּבַבְּרִיאָה
כִּי הַמַּלְכוּת שֶׁלְּךָ הִיא
כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהִשְׁתַּתָפְתִי | אֶשְׁתַּתֵּף בַּבְּחִירוּת
כֵּן זַכֵּנִי לַעֲשׂוֹת מַעֲשִׂים טוֹבִים וּלְתַקֵּן עוֹלָם בְּכָל פֹּעַלִי
וּבַפְּעוּלָה שֶׁל... שֶׁאֲנִי מִתְנדֵּב ׀ מִתְנדֶּבֶת לְקַיֵם
בּעַד כָּל הַבְּרִיאוֹת, בְּזִכְרוֹן בְּרִית מֵי נֹחַ
לְהַגֵּן וּלְבָל תַשְׁחִית אָרֶץ וּמְלוֹאָהּ
תִּתֵּן לְכָל אֻמּוֹת הָאָרֶץ הַזֹאת הָכֹּחַ וְהַרָצוֹן
לִרְדֹף צֶדֶק וּלְבַקֵּשׁ שָׁלוֹם כְּאַגֻדָה אַחַת
לֲעַקֹר גִזְעָנוּת וְחָמָס וּלְהַצְמִיחַ רְפוּאָה
וְחַיִים טוֹבִים וְשָׁלוֹם, פֹּה וּבְכָל הָעוֹלָם
וְקַיֵּם לָנוּ הַכָּתוּב: וִיהִי נ֤עַם אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ עָלֵינוּ
וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנָה עָלֵינוּ וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנֵהוּ
for 2020 (to add before תִּתֵּן לְכָל אֻמּוֹתֹ)
תְעַקֵּר טִירוּנִיָא וָעָרִיצוּת
וּתְמַגֵּר עֹשְׁקֵי נִדְכָּאִים
תַעֲבִיר מֶמְשֶׁלֶת זָדוֹן מִן הָאָרֶץ
וּתְּסַכֵּל פּוֹגְעִים בְּדֵמוֹקרָטִיָה וְתָּפֵר תַחְבּוּלוֹתם
תְכַלֵּם וְתַשְׁפִּילֵם וְתַכְנִיעֵם בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵינו