Belief Beat

Christine O’Donnell and Michelle Obama don’t agree on much, but they do believe in the power of prayer — specifically, at the polls. 

Though trailing Democrat Chris Coons in Delaware’s U.S. Senate race, O’Donnell says God wants her to win this election. In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network this week, the Republican candidate and Tea Party favorite explained:

“God will give you what you want, but He will create those desires in you so that you have a passion to do what He is calling you to, so through this whole campaign that’s what I pray: God, you gave me this desire. You gave me this desire of my heart to serve the people of Delaware, to go in there and be your voice in Congress. Help me here!”

Earlier this month, the First Lady, making media appearances on behalf of endangered Democratic candidates, encouraged prayers for her husband and his agenda:

“Everybody I know in our communities are praying for us. Every day we feel that and let me just tell your listeners it means the world to us to know that there are prayer circles and people who want to keep the spirits clean around us.”

Of course, let’s not forget all the religious leaders and faith-based organizations urging people to pray and vote a certain way (flirting with that tricky “separation of church and state” concept that may or may not be in the First Amendment, depending on whom you ask).

As we get closer to Election Day, these kinds of stories raise interesting questions, some pointed out by USA Today religion reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman: What happens when opposing groups pray? What does it mean for your faith if you lose? Does God take sides? (For what it’s worth, I have similar questions whenever I see athletes praying for a big win, singers thanking God at awards shows, etc.)

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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