Many of us remember the total chaos that erupted after the contested Bush-Gore election in November of 2000.   Our country was gripped by what can only be called a profound spirit of division that has imprinted itself upon our national politics ever since.

Armies of lawyers descended on Palm Beach County government offices to count “hanging chad” ballots and fight over the interpretation of faint marks on paper voting cards. The event was marked as much by hateful divisions as by unbelievable absurdities. Today, in fact, the situation has degraded into even more frightening trends.

It is clear that we have a two-tier system of justice in our country now. The very rule of law is thrown out the window at times to achieve political ends (as in the recent Kavanaugh hearings). Likewise, massive groups of vulnerable human beings are used and manipulated by clever ideologues to achieve partisan purposes (as in caravans and immigrants) with no honest debate about borders, culture, or national integrity. The spirit of division runs very deeply in our body politic today and has borne further negative fruits of hatred and incessant calumny.

The spirit of division, however, does not have the final word about how we live as a people. There is one way to stop its relentless progress: prayer. This is something in which we should invest more time and effort. Before you go to the polls and cast your ballot on November 6, it might not be a bad idea to pray for some divine guidance in voting and to keep your eyes fixed on the true spiritual welfare of our country. Here is a prayer that might be fitting given the state of society today:

Election Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

O dearest Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy and Life, at this most critical time we entrust the United States of America to your loving care. Most Holy Mother, we beg you to reclaim our history, our culture, and our public life and institutions for the greater glory of your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Overwhelmed with the burden of our own sins and the sins of our nation, we cry to you from the depths of our hearts and seek refuge in your motherly protection. Look down with mercy upon us and touch the hearts of our people with the grace that flows from Jesus’ one sacrifice on Calvary for the sins of all men throughout history.

Open our minds and hearts to the inherent dignity and worth of human life and to the responsibilities that accompany the freedom we’ve been given as Americans. Liberate us from every falsehood that leads to the evils of abortion, human trafficking, the breakdown of families and culture, and the dissolution of the stable institutions of our society. Let the citizens of this great nation reflect and affirm the principles of the Kingdom of God rather than the values of the partisans of death, immorality, and destruction.

Give our populace the wisdom to elect public leaders of substance and virtue who will proclaim God’s Law as the foundation on which this nation was established, and to witness that He alone is the true Source of our cherished rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Make us know again with humble certainty that without Him we can do nothing (Jn 15:5).

O Merciful Mother, protect our nation from all “evil spirits in high places” (Eph 6:12) and with your supreme spiritual authority, render harmless every attack of the devil who seeks to destroy not only the sovereign welfare of this nation but our very souls.

Draw us, dear Lady, by your grace and beauty, into a new era of American leadership which cherishes and protects the dignity of life, marriage, and family in this great country and around the world. Trusting in your most powerful intercession, hear now the fervent prayers of your children as we say:

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, our Mother. To thee do we come, before thee we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer us. Amen.

This article originally appeared on Catholic Stand.