Most prayers offered in presidential debate history

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Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speak at their first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, on September 26, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Mike Segar
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-GRAVES-OPED, originally transmitted on September 27, 2016.

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speak at their first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, on September 26, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Mike Segar *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-GRAVES-OPED, originally transmitted on September 27, 2016.

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (RNS) Arch-conservative Southern Baptist Albert Mohler tweeted before the most tweeted presidential debate in history last night, “Praying that tonight’s debate will not be an embarrassment for the nation. 100 million people expected to watch.” There was no follow-up tweet.

Not only was the debate heavily tweeted, watched, and embarrassing to the nation, it generated the most prayers of any presidential debate in American history. Mary, the Mother of God, spoke to The Literalist about the deluge of prayers she and her Son received last night. Here’s the transcript of our exclusive discussion:

RNS: What was the most common prayer you received during the debate?

MARY: Let this all be over. Hands down.

RNS: The debate?

MARY: No, the entire election. Millions of people in America and around the world are supplicating for this nightmare end.

RNS: Any unique prayers stand out?

MARY: Before the debate, Rosie O’Donnell petitioned that she not be brought up.

RNS: What did you say? You didn’t lead her on, right?

MARY: Not at all. I passed her request upstairs and was pretty sure God took care of it. Turned out the Devil got the best of Donald on the Rosie question. He just couldn’t resist.

RNS: Did either of the candidates themselves pray?

MARY: Is that a real question? 

RNS: Absolutely.

MARY: One candidate prayed she or he would humbly serve her or his country by making life better for Americans and and live up to the expectations of millions of women, minorities, immigrants, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ folks who are scared of what might happen if her or his opponent wins.

RNS: But you won’t say which candidate?

MARY: I’ll let you guess.

RNS: Finally, were there any prayers of thanksgiving during the debate?

MARY: A few when one candidate mentioned the vibrancy of the black church. That made all of us up pretty happy, too. We don’t like to play favorites, but the black church is definitely our favorite.

RNS: Well, thank you —

MARY: (interrupting) — Oh, and the women. How could I forget the women? Prayers of thanksgiving from millions of women for finally seeing someone of their own gender on the presidential debate stage. I keep forgetting with all the other noise I heard, but women were pretty pumped.