Home Worship Planning Preaching Resources Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism

Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism

By Derek Weber

Three people holding hands in prayer

While the headlines may have receded, the sin of racism continues to be seen and felt on both individual and systemic levels. Dismantling racism is not a short-term task but a lifelong moving forward to perfection in love—to use founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley’s words. Therefore, Discipleship Ministries and other agencies and bodies of The United Methodist Church will continue to provide resources and guidance on how to become anti-racist individuals and churches. Please seek out the help you need to maintain your efforts to transform your community into an anti-racist fellowship.

The Worship Team of Discipleship Ministries believes, however, that such a change will not happen unless the whole process is bathed in prayer every step along the way. To that end, we will continue to provide daily prayers to help keep us all centered on the ongoing journey of transformation. From Monday through Friday, a new prayer will be posted here for your use as personal devotion, to share in your small group, or for use in corporate worship.

If you wish to receive these prayers each day in your email, the process for signing up is outlined below. If you would like to submit a prayer for anti-racism, click here to contact us. Join with us in this season of prayer and change in our denomination and beyond.

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July 19, 2024

God of all Creation and each of us,
you tend to the cares of your world and the concerns of each of our hearts.
We praise you for your faithfulness and ask you to continue tending
to the lonely, the sick, the caretakers, the weary, and the grieving.
Compassionate One, you know the many griefs that we carry.
We come to you this night grieving the sin of racism.
Some of us have carried this grief since our earliest days;
some of us are seeing and experiencing this grief for the first time.

Crucified One,
You have called your church to follow you once again to the foot of the cross
– like the women beating their chests and wailing as you climbed to Golgotha,
we cry out against evil.
Like the centurion who had for too long stayed silent,
we cry out, “Surely this man is innocent,” and in so doing we open ourselves to transformation.
We stand in the shadow of the cross on which our Savior died
and in the shadow of the deaths of our Black and Brown siblings
to say with one voice, “No more.”
We are here because all of your Creation groans
against the sinister reality of racism.
How long, O Lord? How long will life be lost to bigotry and racism?

Excerpted from Prayers of Lament, Confession, and Intercession, Pastors of Second Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis, Indiana June 2020, page 3, https://www.secondchurch.org/attachments/Prayer%20Liturgy%20-%20June%202020.pdf.

July 18, 2024

My lord what a morning,
When the stars begin to fall

African American Spiritual

What will it take, God of the starry heavens, to wake us to the brokenness within us and between us? What stars need to fall so that we can hear the trumpet call of freedom and justice and equity? What earth-moving event will shake us from our complacency with the status quo? Some have called for such an awakening. But others decry being woken from their satisfied slumber. What stars need to fall, God who promises kin-dom? Or should we ask, how many more stars need to fall before the Christians begin to shout? How many more? In Christ’s name. Amen.

Derek C Weber, July 2024

July 17, 2024

Lord, help us.
We are in turmoil.
The sin of racism continues to plague our nation and world.
George, Ahmaud, Breonna—and so many others who now rest in your arms—serve as a witness to both what we have done and what we have failed to do.
We mourn while we struggle for answers.
We turn to you for direction so that we can escape this dark place of hatred.
For far too long, many of your children have cried out for your help, feeling forgotten, abandoned.
Help them remember that you are there, walking with them in their struggles, leading them toward the light of equality.
Amen.

“Prayer to Overcome Racism,” The Sorrowful Mystery of Racism, St. Anthony Messenger, https://www.franciscanmedia.org/st-anthony-messenger/april-2021/the-sorrowful-mystery-of-racism/

July 16, 2024

Lord, as you have taught us,
we bow down before you in all humility, gentleness and patience,
supporting each other with love
and trying to keep the unity of the spirit by the bonds of peace,
that we may become “one body and one spirit,”
according to our common calling and vocation.
With one voice, repenting of our divisions,
we commit ourselves to working together
for reconciliation, peace, and justice,
and we stand together in imploring you:
help us to live as your disciples,
overcoming selfishness and arrogance, hatred and violence;
give us the strength to forgive.
Inspire our witness in the world,
that we might foster a culture of dialogue,
and be bearers of the hope which your gospel has implanted in us.
Make us instruments of your peace,
so that our homes and communities,
our parishes, churches, and nations might resonate more fully
with the peace you have long desired to bestow upon us. Amen.

Nolan Palsma, “Congregational Prayer of Commitment,” Belhar Confession Prayers of Commitment, https://www.faithward.org/belhar-confession-prayers-of-commitment/.

July 15, 2024

If we blindly live where we’ve been living without listening to the voices of those who are downcast, we lose for the sake of the gospel.

- Kaitlin Curtice, “The Curse of Indifference in the American Church”

God, rid us of the sin of indifference. Open our ears to hear the voices of the downcast.

Sojourners, Verse and Voice, July 2, 2024, https://sojo.net/daily-wisdom/verse-and-voice-7224.

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Rev. Dr. Derek Weber, Director of Preaching Ministries, served churches in Indiana and Arkansas and the British Methodist Church. His PhD is from University of Edinburgh in preaching and media. He has taught preaching in seminary and conference settings for more than 20 years.

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