Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism
By Derek Weber
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.
September 24, 2021
Jesus, we come before you with heavy hearts.
We lament that racial injustice is so tragically common in our society.
We lament that precious lives are lost because of hate and ignorance.
We lament the prejudice, violence, and racism that mocks your teachings.
We lament that the Church has too often stayed silent in the face of racism.
We lament that the climate crisis disproportionately impacts People of Color.
We lament that racial justice has become polarizing in our society.
We lament that some church leaders have spoken foolish and hateful words which support the systemic racism that is a cancer to our world.
Forgive us, oh Lord, for our complicity in these injustices.
Please open our ears to listen and our hearts to hear. And close the mouths of those who would speak foolishness. Lord Jesus, we need you in this time of racial anxiety.
“A Prayer for this Time of Race Injustice, Violence, and Trauma,” Climate Caretakers, June 2, 2020, https://episcopalcolorado.org/becoming-beloved-community.
September 23, 2021
To the Father of every family on Earth
To Jesus, the great Reconciler
To the Holy Spirit, healer of our broken hearts
Have mercy. We bow our knees before You. Thank You that in Your love, You bring sin into the light. Forgive us, as a nation, for the darkness of racism that we’ve allowed to exist in our cities, systems, neighborhoods, and in our view of one another. Have mercy.
Carve humility in our souls. Pour the oil of Your Spirit into our pain, fear, and confusion. Today, empower us to move toward each other in compassion, quickness to listen, and honor for the sacredness of every image-bearing human being. Give us courage to boldly uncover oppression, and grace to hear each other’s pain regarding race. We reject both division and denial. We reject the devaluing of human life. Father, You’ve given us the ministry of reconciliation, and we cry out to You for guidance and steps to take.
Lord, awaken humble conversation between neighbors and friends across this country. Wash our relationships with healing. Rebuild trust that’s been broken and protect our existing bridges of connection. We join Your prayer in John 17 — Make us one with You. Give us the endurance and commitment it takes to do the hard work of true unity.
Jesus, the One who knows our humanity, the One who weeps with us, help us follow You on the narrow road of love. Amen.
Cagelessbirds.com, “A Prayer for Racial Healing,” https://www.cagelessbirds.com/blog/2020/6/16/a-prayer-for-racial-healingnbsp.
September 22, 2021
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion. For there the LORD ordained his blessing, life forevermore. - Psalm 133 NRSV
God, creator of every good thing that gives us peace, everyone I know is tired of the fighting. Every news report tells of the division; every blog decries the hate; every commentator discusses the wrong. Everyone is so done with the separation, the isolation, the despair, and the anger. So why do we cling so tightly to it? Is there no one who will be the first to lay down their arms, to admit their fault, to acknowledge that it is better, it is good and pleasant to live together in unity? Is there no one who will say, “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing”?
Oh. Wait. I see. Forgive us. Once again, forgive us. I pray we will learn to live in unity as kindred. One day. Christ, have mercy. Amen.
Derek C. Weber, September 2021
September 21, 2021
You are a God of reconciliation, and by the power of the death of your son Jesus, allow World Vision and your church to lead the nation in reconciliation.
We believe you are the answer to the divisions in America. You are the hope of glory and nations.
We thank you for your wisdom, power, and love for renewed hearts in true repentance and reconciliation by the power of your Holy Spirit.
“A Prayer for Reconciliation in Our Nation,” submitted by Flavie A. from Maryland, https://worldvisionadvocacy.org/2020/07/17/4-prayers-for-reconciliation-in-our-nation.
September 20, 2021
We live in a world where it seems like those who don’t know you are the only ones who are prospering.
Lord, bless us!
The rent is due, the refrigerator is barren, and the electricity is on its final notice.
Lord, bless us!
Lord, we are walking the path that you have placed us on. Our steps are ordered by you. We spend time in your word. We try our best to live by it.
Lord, bless us!
Struggle knows many of us by name. Pain asked for several, specifically. We wonder how the wicked are doing with their vacations, shopping sprees, and skinny jeans.
Lord, bless us!
We need you, Lord, to bless us. Open the windows of heaven and pour us out a blessing that is just right for us and our neighbors.
Curry F. Butler, “Lord Bless Us,” A Call to Worship Based on Psalm 1, Pentecost Package 2, (Pentecost 12—Reign of Christ), Africana Writer’s Project, Safiyah Fosua, editor, https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/worship-planning/doers-of-the-word/seventeenth-sunday-after-pentecost-year-b-lectionary-planning-notes/seventeenth-sunday-after-pentecost-year-b-additional-liturgical-resources.
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.