Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism
By Derek Weber
In this Kairos moment of protest and awakening, Discipleship Ministries and other agencies and bodies of the United Methodist Church are providing resources and guidance on how to become anti-racist individuals and churches. Please seek out the help you need in this time of transformation.
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 be providing daily prayers to help keep us all centered on the journey ahead. 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, please contact the Worship Team and we would be glad to work with you on how to submit for posting. Join with us in this season of prayer and change in our denomination and beyond.
Day 40 (August 7, 2020)
God, I pray that someday I can live in a non-racist world. I pray that black and white people can be friends for eternity. Help us, please.
In Jesus’ name,
Izzy (age 9)
Day 39 (August 6, 2020)
On Reading “How to Be an Antiracist”
God of all things, help me now.
I want to be an ally to my black brothers and sisters.
I want to be an ally to my brown brothers and sisters.
I want to be an ally to all who are oppressed by racist systems and policies.
And so I fight for their right to get the same education that I had.
For the right to acquire the same wealth that I have.
For the right to live in a “good” neighborhood as I do.
For the right, in short, to be like me.
And as I pray this, O God, my words convict me of my sin.
Why do I privilege my reality as the one that everyone should desire?
God, help me fight for the right for everyone to be themselves –
to live and love and speak from their own hearts.
Give me the courage to admit my false sense of superiority.
Give me eyes to see others as you see them.
To celebrate their distinctive ways of being in the world.
To honor their culture; to honor their values.
Holy One, open my ears. Open my eyes. Open my heart.
Lead me into humility. Call me into love.
Elizabeth Moore, OSL
Abbot, the Order of Saint Luke
Day 38 (August 5, 2020)
What’s next, loving God? Where do we go from here? How do we move from this broken place? Too often, we dwell in our pain for too long. Too often, we sit in our sinfulness, unable to see an alternative, unable to grasp hope. Can repentance lead to revolution? Can confession lead to resolution and action? Can contemplation continue in change of behavior?
What’s next, sending God? How do we live into the changes that we want to see? How do we walk in an undiscovered country? How do we chart a course for a new way of living together in community? Must we wait for everyone to finally get the message before we begin to make a change? Or do we strike out, we few who long for a new vision of relationship, and go as we can small step by small step?
What’s next, vision-casting God? Can we see a new tapestry of colors defining who we are? Can we celebrate diversity without jealousy and suspicion? Can we name a family of different faces, different hues, different voices, yet be woven into one?
What’s next, Holy One, God of the prophet Isaiah? We want to be a part of the new thing you are doing in our midst. We want to move on from the past that drags us down and claim a future that is springing up. We want to perceive a new way in our desert; we want to dance in the gardens of this wilderness.
What’s next, God of tomorrow? Can we be a part of it?
In hope and in commitment. Amen.
Derek C. Weber, July 2020
Day 37 (August 4, 2020)
Spirit, whose name literally means breath, we’ve been thinking a lot about breath over the past weeks.
The word for Spirit is also feminine, which is often forgotten. It reminds us when we say the name George Floyd, we cannot forget the names like Breonna Taylor. Spirit, I can’t help but think we need the comfort, strength, and tenacity of a mother in these trying times.
As we find ourselves in a pandemic, where the virus is most known for taking our breath, we cry out for you, Spirit.
As we work through the new normal of wearing masks that cover our breath - not for ourselves but for our neighbors, we think of you, Spirit.
As we listen to the cries of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others pleading for one more breath, we cry out to you, Spirit.
Holy Spirit, I pray you give us ears to hear during this time. That our hearts and minds will be open. And even though it is hard, I pray that you will fill us with an attitude of surrender - to lie down and let go and truly let you breathe in us again and make us come alive.
Breathe on us, Spirit of God; speak to us, Spirit of God; transform us, Spirit of God.
Matt Temple, church planter and associate church developer for the North Texas Conference
Day 36 (August 3, 2020)
Dear God of Justice,
Please help my generation to see the need for justice. It is my dream because we need change; and I know that, with you, it can happen.
In Jesus’ name,
Ben (age 11)
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.