Home Worship Planning Preaching Resources Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism (January-March 2022)

Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism (January-March 2022)

JANUARY 3, 2022

Source of All Being, Creator of All Life, may Your goodness find its way into the hearts of all Your children.

May those who wield power do so with a balance of wisdom, justice and compassion. May those who feel powerless remember their intrinsic worth, and also act with a balance of wisdom, integrity and compassion.

May we all feel called to action based on the injustices of racism, and see ourselves not as enemies of one another, not in struggle with one another, but as human beings, created in the image of God, connected to one another’s well-being.

May all of us come to acknowledge the racism that is pervasive in our region and our nation.

May we commit to sitting down with one another in honest dialogue, opening our hearts in compassion to one another, bearing witness to the pain and fear of one another, even if … and especially if … “the other” looks and seems so different from ourselves.

May we commit to joining together in acts of justice that will bring about equality in education, economic opportunities, law enforcement and judicial proceedings.

May each of us come to understand that, ultimately, “my” experience of freedom, justice and peace is inextricably linked to the freedom, justice and peace of every other person in our county and city, our country and our world. May we open our eyes to the invisible lines of connection that unite us, and with clarity of vision, continue to work for a world where every person’s life is valued, cherished and loved.


A Prayer for Our Community by Rabbi Andrea Goldsetin, Congregation Shaare Emeth, St. Louis, MO, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, https://rac.org/selma-50th-anniversary-prayers.

JANUARY 4, 2022

Almighty God, Source of all that is, Giver of every good gift: You create all people in your image and call us to love one another as you love us.

We confess that we have failed to honor you in the great diversity of the human family.

We have desired to live in freedom, while building walls between ourselves and others.

We have longed to be known and accepted for who we are, while making judgments of others based on the color of skin, or the shape of features, or the varieties of human experience.

We have tried to love our neighbors individually while yet benefitting from systems that hold those same neighbors in oppression.

Forgive us, Holy God.

Give us eyes to see you as you are revealed in all people.

Strengthen us for the work of reconciliation rooted in love.

Restore us in your image, to be beloved community, united in our diversity, even as you are one with Christ and the Spirit, Holy and undivided Trinity, now and forever. Amen.

All Saints Episcopal Church, Portsmouth, Ohio, http://allsaintsportsmouth.org/racial-reconciliation-and-justice.

JANUARY 5, 2022

God of justice, in your wisdom you create all people in your image, without exception. Through your goodness, open our eyes to see the dignity, beauty, and worth of every human being. Open our minds to understand that all your children are brothers and sisters in the same human family. Open our hearts to repent of racist attitudes, behaviors, and speech which demean others. Open our ears to hear the cries of those wounded by racial discrimination and their passionate appeals for change. Strengthen our resolve to make amends for past injustices and to right the wrongs of history. And fill us with courage that we might seek to heal wounds, build bridges, forgive and be forgiven, and establish peace and equality for all in our communities. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

A Prayer for Racial Healing, St. Elizabeth Anne Seaton Parish, Shrub Oak, NY, https://seton-parish.org/prayer-for-racial-healing.

JANUARY 6, 2022

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.

-Walter C. Smith, “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise,” 1867, United Methodist Hymnal, 103

Why, O God of wisdom, is the light hidden from our eyes? Why are you so elusive, so invisible to those of us who claim to stand in your light? On this day of Epiphany, we indeed want the light to shine forth; we want to see you; we want to know you; we want to be surrounded by the wonder of your presence among us. Let us see, O Invisible One, let us see.

Unless you aren’t the one hiding. Maybe you are present in every face we see, smooth baby smiles that greet the world with wonder, and the weathered skin of experience that sees nothing new under the sun. If we looked, stopped hiding our eyes from those whose skin tone is different, whose accent is foreign, we might see the wonder of you, the gaze of the Creator hidden in the creation.

This day of Epiphany, open our eyes to see that which has been hidden by our short-sightedness. May we set aside the blinders of prejudice and see more than what is before our eyes. May we see glory all around us, this day and every day. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, December 2021

JANUARY 7, 2022

God of the past, present and the future at the start of the New Year, we look back with a sense of boldness and a thankful heart. We give thanks that you keep your promises, taking care of the poor, the weak, the oppressed and the marginalised.

This day, generous God, we are listening for your call.

We hear you say, where there is despair, and we respond

“Here we are Lord, transform and send us.

We hear you say: where there is injustice, pain and brokenness, and we respond:

“Here we are Lord, transform and send us”

We hear you say: where there is prejudice, indifference and exclusion, and we respond

“Here we are Lord, transform and send us”

We hear you say: spread my way of generosity, healing and reconciliation, and we respond

“Here we are Lord, transform and send us.”

God who answers prayers and keeps promises, on this day we call to you, (pause)…..answer our call. Hear us Lord as we work for a better world. All this we do through the strength of the Holy Spirit.

“Here I Am Lord, Send Me” (Based on Isaiah 6:1-13), Zaidie Orr for Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, Resourcing Racial Justice Sunday, 2019 https://ctbi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Resourcing-Racial-Justice-Sunday-2019.pdf, page 4.

JANUARY 10, 2022

You give us prophets, holy God, to cry out for justice and mercy. Open our ears to hear them, and to follow the truth they speak, lest we support injustice to secure our own well-being.

Give prophets the fire of your Word, but love as well. Though they speak for you, may they know that they stand with us before you, and have no Messiah other than your Son.

Jesus Christ, the Lord of all. Amen.

The Worship Book: Services, The Westminster Press, 1970, posted onPrayers for Racial Harmony,” faithward, https://www.faithward.org/prayers-for-racial-harmony.

JANUARY 11, 2022

God of mercy and compassion,

We come before you today in grief, in anger, in mourning over the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castille, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Sean Bell, Sandra Bland, George Floyd and the litany of names of men and women who have died at the hands of those charged to protect and serve. You know each one of them by name, and we know that each were wonderfully created in your own image and likeness. Their lives matter to you and to us, and so we ask you, God, to etch their memories forever on our hearts.

Lord, we are tired of the senseless acts of violence, the injustices, the oppression, the racism, and the ignored laments of black and brown communities. Hear us, Lord. Open the hearts, minds, and ears of all your children to hear and understand the cries of pain, of sadness, of trauma, and of immense loss.

Your Son, Jesus came to us that we “may have life, and have it abundantly.” May each of us be committed to sharing life and love in our world. May we speak truth to power. May we allow the Spirit to lead us to act for justice. Lord, we invite you to use us so that we might bring about a transformation in our world; a transformation that makes a beloved community real here on this earth.


“A Prayer for Racial Justice,” Grotto, https://grottonetwork.com/keep-the-faith/prayer/prayer-against-racism.

JANUARY 12, 2022

O God,

On this day we confess that the sin of racial hatred and prejudice distorts your divine plan for our human lives:

You created us in divine likeness, diverse and beautiful: In every person, every race is your image. But too often we fail to recognize your image in all: Forgive us.

You created us in divine freedom, to be free: In every decision, every choice is your possibility of justice. But too often we fail to choose to advocate for your justice for all: Forgive us.

You created us for divine abundance, to tend and share: In every garden, every social structure is your seed of community. But too often we fail to create that community which includes all, and gives to all equal access to your abundant life: Forgive us.

Forgive us:

Open our eyes to distinguish good from evil. Open our hearts to desire good over evil. Strengthen our wills to choose good over evil, so that we may create among us your beloved community.

“Prayer of Confession for Racial Justice,” United Church of Christ, posted on the website of Action of Greater Lansing, https://www.actionofgreaterlansing.org/prayers-for-justice.

JANUARY 13, 2022

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NRSV

Varieties, Lord? Yes, there are times when variety is good, even beautiful. But too often variety leads to disagreement, which leads to conflict, which leads, inevitably these days it seems, to violence. Wouldn’t it be better if we were all the same? Had the same opinions, the same hopes, and the same dreams? Wouldn’t it be easier if we all looked the same and sounded the same and lived the same? I’d risk boredom for safety, Lord, for the peace of sameness.

Yet, that doesn’t seem to be your plan for creation. From the very beginning, there was variety; there was a multi-hued, multi-gifted, multi-voiced foundation to all that there is. And the unity you invite us into is not the unity of sameness, but the harmony of difference that sings in a symphony of variety.

Help us, then, rid ourselves of the fear of variety, the divisions of difference, and find unity through your Spirit in service with those like us and those unlike us. Let us be bound together in love with all the varieties of gifts and service and activities, that we might find hope in this new year.

Amen, and thanks be to the God of variety.

Derek C. Weber, January 2022

JANUARY 14, 2022

God of heaven and Earth, you created the one human family and endowed each person with great dignity. Aid us, we pray, in overcoming the sin of racism. Grant us your grace in eliminating this blight from our hearts, our communities, our social and civil institutions. Fill our hearts with love for you and our neighbor so that we may work with you in healing our land from racial injustice. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

From “Mass of Peace and Justice,” Sept 9, 2020, SS Peter and Paul Cathedral, Indianapolis, Indiana, posted on “Prayers for Racial Healing in Our Land,” The Criterion Online Edition, https://www.archindy.org/CRITERION/local/2020/09-18/racism-prayers.html.

JANUARY 17, 2022

Dearest Jesus, come and sit with us today. Show us the lies that are still embedded in the soul of America’s consciousness. Unmask the untruths we have made our best friends. For they seek our destruction. And we are being destroyed, Lord. Reveal the ways the lies have distorted and destroyed our relationships. They break your shalom . . . daily. Jesus, give us courage to embrace the truth about ourselves and you and our world. Truth: We are all made in your image. Truth: You are God; we are not. You are God; money is not. You are God; jails, bombs and bullets are not.

And Jesus, give us faith to believe: Redemption of people, relationships, communities and whole nations is possible! Give us faith enough to renounce the lies and tear down the walls that separate us with our hands, with our feet, and with our votes!

Martin Luther King, Jr., collected by Lewis Baldwin, professor at Vanderbilt University, and author of Never to Leave Us Alone: The Prayer Life of Martin Luther King Jr. https://prayerandpolitiks.org/articles-essays-sermons/prayers-of-martin-luther-king-jr.

JANUARY 18, 2022

O Lord our God, in your mercy and kindness, no thought of ours is left unnoticed, no desire or concern ignored. You have proven that blessings abound when we fall on our knees in prayer, and so we turn to you in our hour of need.

Surrounded by violence and cries for justice, we hear your voice telling us what is required, “Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Mi 6:8). Fill us with your mercy so that we, in turn, may be merciful to others.

Strip away pride, suspicion, and racism so that we may seek peace and justice in our communities. Strengthen our hearts so that they beat only to the rhythm of your holy will. Flood our path with your light as we walk humbly toward a future filled with encounter and unity.

Be with us, O Lord, in our efforts, for only by the prompting of your grace can we progress toward virtue. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, posted on “Prayers for Racial Justice and Reconciliation, jesuitresource.org, https://www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/prayer-index/prayers-for-racial-justice-and-reconciliation.

JANUARY 19, 2022

God of freedom, we pray for our nation and for all nations of the world: for peace and justice for all your people; for the crumbling of boundaries that divide us along lines of race, class, color, language, or religion; for our leaders, that they may serve the common good with integrity and goodwill. Inspire all people with courage to speak out against hatred, to actively contend with and never make peace with evil, especially the sins of racism and white supremacy. Unite the human family in bonds of love.

Silence — Add your prayers silently or aloud

God of freedom,

Hear our prayers for the world.

Excerpted from Prayers of the People During Time of Racial Unrest and Pandemic, The Episcopal Diocese of Newark, https://dioceseofnewark.org/sites/default/files/resources/Intercessions%20-%20Racial%20Justice%20and%20Pandemic.pdf.

JANUARY 20, 2022

One God, in Three Persons, creator of one human species, in many hues:

All who pray to you are descendants of Adam and Eve, all members of one race called “human.”

Forgive the blindness that causes our eyes to notice and magnify those things we regard as different from ourselves in others.

Teach us to see clearly, that we, your children, are far more alike than we are different. Help us to put aside the racial prejudices embedded within us, and to see within every person the Child of God you created, our sister or brother, destined for Glory.

In the name of One who died for all persons, of all colors, Jesus Christ.


From Race & The History of Tyler, Texas Timeline website, http://www.tylerhistory.org/prayers-for-justice-week-1/.

JANUARY 21, 2022

God of History and God of Now,

In this week when we remember the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are not at all surprised to see his words and his image continue to be quoted and presented. There is so much that we still need to hear from his witness and his life. There is so much challenge and so much hope contained in this remembrance. May we listen and learn, and most importantly, act on these words and by this witness.

What does surprise us, God of truth, is how even his words can be made to say anything and everything, including the exact opposite of what he said. To use a quote from Dr. King to squash any conversation about how oppressed people have been and continue to be treated in this nation is an affront to the very witness we are called to remember and celebrate.

So, let us be mindful of words, Lord, Dr. King’s words, our words, even your words. Let us remember the power of words and the power of our sinfulness to misuse that power. And let us remember that lie we used to believe, that words can never hurt, as we live for truth and unity and peace. In your name and by your grace, Amen.

Derek C. Weber, January 2022

JANUARY 24, 2022

Dear God,

In our efforts to dismantle racism, we understand that we struggle not merely against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities – those institutions and systems that keep racism alive by perpetuating the lie that some members of the family are inferior and others superior.

Create in us a new mind and heart that will enable us to see brothers and sisters in the faces of those divided by racial categories.

Give us the grace and strength to rid ourselves of racial stereotypes that oppress some of us while providing entitlements to others.

Help us to create a church and a nation that embraces the hopes and fears of oppressed people of color where we live, as well as those around the world.

Heal your family God, and make us one with you, in union with our brother Jesus, and empowered by your Holy Spirit.

Pax Christi, posted by The Social Justice Resource Center, https://socialjusticeresourcecenter.org/prayers/racism.

JANUARY 25, 2022

God of all creation
Help us to see each other through Your eyes
So, we can appreciate the beauty of diversity and difference.

Help us to walk in Your strength
So, we can challenge inequality and fight injustice.

Help us to feel with Your love
So, we can hold each other with compassion and kindness.

Help us to experience Your peace
So, we can comfort those who are broken and suffering.

Lord, help us to be more like You.


Jennifer Laurent-Smart, Equality & Diversity Manager, The Salvation Army, for Churches Together in Cornwall, UK, https://www.ctcinfohub.org/daily-prayers-for-racial-justice-23-30-may.

JANUARY 26, 2022

God of Constancy and Commitment, the first month of our year is almost gone, and with it for most or many are the “resolutions” we made as the calendar changed from last year to this. We have trouble staying focused, keeping on track, being disciplined. It is how we have allowed so many things to fall into disrepair, to remain unattended. That’s bad when it is the state of our closets and garages; it is tragic when it is our democracy and our human interaction.

So, keep us focused, Lord, on building better relationships, on overcoming prejudice, on working toward a kin-dom world, a beloved community in the church we claim. May we eradicate all forms of discrimination and embrace inclusion as the model of radical hospitality and grace-filled conversation.

And when we start to fade, when we think the task is already done or not really necessary, remind us that there are those who still feel excluded, unwanted, unloved. Remind us that there are those who feel the knee on the neck and the suspicious stare in ways others of us are simply unaware. Let us continue the struggle and embrace the hope that all are truly beloved. In Christ’s name and by his example, we pray. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, January 2022


Loving God, we come to you with heavy hearts, remembering the six million Jewish souls murdered during the Holocaust.

In the horrors of that history, when so many groups were targeted because of their identity, and in genocides which followed, we recognise destructive prejudices that drive people apart.

Forgive us when we give space to fear, negativity and hatred of others, simply because they are different from us.

In the light of God, we see everyone as equally precious manifestations of the Divine, and can know the courage to face the darkness.

Through our prayers and actions, help us to stand together with those who are suffering, so that light may banish all darkness, love will prevail over hate and good will triumph over evil.


Written by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and Senior Imam Qari Asim of the UK, for the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, https://www.hmd.org.uk/resource/a-prayer-for-holocaust-memorial-day.

JANUARY 28, 2022

Wise and loving God, you have created, and are still creating, a world rich with difference and diversity. You have created all people in your image, each expressing their being and living their life in valid, special relationship with you.

For all this, we give you praise.

For historical acts of injustice and oppression perpetuated against Aboriginal communities, Black, and various Asian communities in this abundant land of the First Nations:

Forgive us, merciful God.

For the times we have failed to recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and the times we have failed to take action,

Forgive us, long-suffering God.

For complicity in systems of privilege and power over those whose skin colour, culture, or creed differ from those of the majority, even today:

Forgive us, compassionate God.

Grant us courage never to let a racist joke pass in our hearing, commitment to insist on equal treatment of all persons and groups—including ourselves if oppressed—even at the risk of being unpopular or misunderstood:

We beseech you, God of justice.

Grant us patience in enduring periods of non-action, persistence in resisting the evil of radical oppression, and faithfulness in working toward racial justice among your people, in the church, and in the world:

We beseech you, God of hope.

And grant us humility and wisdom to discern when it is that your Spirit must come to accomplish that which human beings and groups cannot.

We pray in the name of Jesus, himself the bread of justice and the cup of solidarity. Amen.

Wehn-In Ng, from That All May Be One: A Resource for Educating toward Racial Justice (The United Church of Canada, 2004), https://united-church.ca/prayers/litany-racial-justice.

JANUARY 31, 2022

Almighty, all-merciful God, through Christ Jesus you have taught us to love one another, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and even to love our enemies. In times of violence and fear, let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, so that we may not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good. Help us to see each person in light of the love and grace you have shown us in Christ. Put away the nightmares of terror and awaken us to the dawning of your new creation. Establish among us a future where peace reigns, justice is done with mercy, and all are reconciled. We ask these things in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

From a collection of Prayers for Times of National and International Crisis and Tragedy Posted on the PCUSA website, reposed on St. Andrews Episcopal Church website, https://www.standrewsbethlehem.org/welcome-home-page/prayers-for-racial-justice.

FEBRUARY 1, 2022

Almighty God, source of our life, we acknowledge you as Creator of all people of every race, language and way of life. Help us to see each other as you see us: your sons and daughters loved into being and sustained by your parental care. Keep watch over our hearts so that the evil of racism will find no home with us. Direct our spirits to work for justice and peace so that all barriers to your grace which oppress our brothers and sisters will be removed. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Prayers for the Elimination of Racism for use as an aid to prayer. The Augustinian Secretariate for Justice and Peace, midwestaugustinians.org. Used with permission. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/50e5979fe4b0d83d9231662c/t/58c3181dbf629a85334f8694/1489180701327/justpaxracepray.pdf.

FEBRUARY 2, 2022

God of times and seasons,

It’s Groundhog Day. What an odd remnant of a less enlightened age. One hopes you smile at our tongue-in-cheek observance of this day. We who have no power over seasons, over winds and snows, over sun and growth, like to pretend we know. We like to think we can grasp some secret knowledge, glimpse a promise of winter or a hint of spring. How foolish of us. That rodent is wrong as often as he is right. Just like us.

We too run from shadows, hide from uncomfortable truths, risk six more weeks of a winter of separation rather than embrace a spring of new possibilities by first acknowledging a truth of inequality and then striving to heal what has been broken. O Lord, help us not bury ourselves in our dens of denial, but climb out to a new spring of hope and unity.

Or are we doomed, like that movie weatherman, to relive this Groundhog Day of division, again and again, until we learn from it, grow from it, become more than we have been and wake to a tomorrow that is a new day of grace and kinship, reparations and repentance, healing and acceptance? Can we break the cycle of violence and hate? Can we not hear the news with the words “not again” on our lips? Can we risk the shadows of our past and embrace your kin-dom promise even now, even this day?

Help us wake to that new day, Lord. We are ready for a new spring. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, January 2022

FEBRUARY 3, 2022

O God of all nations and all peoples: our nation once, in time of war, forcibly interned in camps, without trial and without just cause, many of our own people because of their Japanese ancestry. Grant us, by your grace, the strength and courage never again to treat as enemies any entire group of persons, solely because of the enmity of some members of that group, but to defend and preserve the basic human rights of all people, even in times of distress, for the sake of your Son who died for all. Amen.

From A Year of Prayers to End Racism, The Diocesan Commission to End Racism West Virginia Diocese, February, http://www.wvdiocese.org/pages/pdfs/ayearofprayertoendracism.pdf.

FEBRUARY 4, 2022

God, we lament the damage that our silence in the face of racial violence has done, for the sins of racism that run through our lives like so many threads in a cloth. Forgive us for the times we have given in to our discomfort, for the times we have forgotten our own privilege and failed to stand with our black siblings. Help those of us who experience white privilege every day remember that, with our privilege, we are imbued with the responsibility to challenge and hold one another accountable. Give us the courage to educate ourselves, to listen well, and to use our voices when it is most needed.

“Lament,” by Clara Weybright, from “Prayers of lament: Responding to the Violence of Racism,” by Mennonite Church USA staff. https://www.mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/lament-violence-of-racism/.

FEBRUARY 7, 2022

Mighty and merciful God, lover of justice and equity, you call us to support the weak, to help those who suffer, and to honor all people. By the power of your Holy Spirit, make us advocates for your justice and instruments of your peace, so that all may be reconciled in your beloved community; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Book of Common Worship (WJKP, 2018), Presbyterian Church USA, https://facing-racism.pcusa.org/site_media/media/uploads/facing_racism/resources/bcw_excerpts_justice_and_reconciliation.pdf, page 2.

FEBRUARY 8, 2022

Lord, you know the heart of everyone affected by this crime and this loss of beautiful life, the life of your child George Floyd, as well as the deaths of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and many before them. Lord, I find it hard to believe that any human can watch the murder of any of your children and not feel broken-hearted -- a broken heart for what happened to them, for the loss their family feels, and for so many nationwide that feel a deep pain every time a senseless death like this happens. There are many tears right now, Lord please draw near to all who are grieved by these deaths. Remind us of your closeness and your presence; remind us that you are with us always, through tragedy and triumph.

Your Word tells us that you are the Light and though the darkness tries it cannot put out the light; your Word also tells us that the darkness is as light to you. You know all things and are all things, there is no secret that can be kept from you, even in darkness -- you know the truth of what has happened. Thank you for the comfort in your Psalms, many of which are penned from a broken heart and a place of trial. The Psalms remind us that you are our Refuge in the midst of trials; you are our everlasting fortress. You are our only true safe place. May we leave every tear and every ache of our heart at your feet; may we trust you with these realities and these feelings and know that you are sovereign over all. You are a just God, and you will right every wrong. Help us to trust you always, and help us to seek you in everything. May we find comfort in who you, who are life.

We pray through Christ our Lord.

Five Prayers for Justice in the Midst of Injustice, Deacon John, Lexington Catholic High School, Lexington KY, https://www.lexingtoncatholic.com/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=931452&type=d&pREC_ID=1956138.

FEBRUARY 9, 2022

In the morning when I rise,
in the morning when I rise,
in the morning when I rise,
give me Jesus.

Give me Jesus, give me Jesus.
You may have all this world, give me Jesus.

African American Spiritual, Worship & Song, 3140.

Dear Jesus,

You once said to someone, “You are not far from the kingdom of God” (Mark 12:34). And now I wonder if you would say that again. Say it now. Say it here. Say it to us. We long to hear it; we need to hear it. But more than that, we need it to be true.

We seem so far these days. So far from what you describe as the kingdom, the kin-dom, the beloved community. We seem to be moving away from it day by day. As though it isn’t what we want anymore. As if our individual desires have overwhelmed any sense of corporateness. As if homogeneity is more attractive than diversity as if sameness is better than difference. We seem to have given up on your vision, your dream, your promise of a new reality, a new way of living.

Jesus, there are some who don’t want this world we’ve made. We’d give it all away to have what we see in you, what we come to know from you. We want your world, your hope. We want you. We want you.

Christ, have mercy on us. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, January 2022

FEBRUARY 10, 2022

O God, we are one with you. You have made us one with you. You have taught us that if we are open to one another, you dwell in us. Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all our hearts. Help us to realize that there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection. O God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept you, and we thank you, and we adore you, and we love you with our whole being, because our being is your being, our spirit is rooted in your spirit. Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as we go our diverse ways, united in this one spirit which makes you present in the world, and which makes you witness to the ultimate reality that is love. Love has overcome. Love is victorious.

"We Are One With You," prayer by Thomas Merton (1915-1968), cited in "Prayers for Justice and Peace," page, 2, https://www.visitation.net/uploaded/PDFs/Prayers_for_Justice_Peace.pdf.

FEBRUARY 11, 2022

Almighty God, Source of all that is, Giver of every good gift:
You create all people in your image and call us to love one another as you love us.
We confess that we have failed to honor you in the great diversity of the human family.
We have desired to live in freedom, while building walls between ourselves and others.
We have longed to be known and accepted for who we are, while making judgements of others based on the color of skin, or the shape of features, or the varieties of human experience.
We have tried to love our neighbors individually while yet benefitting from systems that hold those same neighbors in oppression.
Forgive us, Holy God.
Give us eyes to see you as you are revealed in all people.
Strengthen us for the work of reconciliation rooted in love.
Restore us in your image, to be beloved community, united in our diversity, even as you are one with Christ and the Spirit, Holy and undivided Trinity, now and for ever. Amen.

Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music of the Episcopal Church, January 3, 2018, https://liturgyandmusic.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/prayers-sclm-racial-reconciliation-and-justice-final1-3.pdf, page 2.

FEBRUARY 14, 2022

It is Valentine’s Day, God who is Love. We are a culture in love with love. But we are not very good at loving. We love the ideal, the romantic saga, the tear-filled goodbyes, and joyous reunions. We consume those stories, weep at those movies, read and reread the throwaway novels. Yet somehow this inclination for love stories never translates into living in community—beloved community—in our everyday lives.

Why do we love the idea of love more than the practice of loving? Why do we so easily determine that there are those unworthy of love when you call us to be lovers of all? Why do we line up those to whom we will extend a loving embrace, a loving word, a loving grace and those to whom we will not? Worse yet, why have we decided that there are those even you cannot, will not, do not love?

When I was small, we bought those boxes of Valentine cards and signed each one and took them to class. I wanted to pick and choose the recipients of my cardboard hearts. My mom said, “Give one to everyone, or give them to no one. Everyone is worthy of love.”

Teach us how to love like that, God of Love. In Christ’s name. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, February 2022

FEBRUARY 15, 2022

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.

“A Prayer for Racial Healing,” from Cageless Birds, https://www.cagelessbirds.com/blog/2020/6/16/a-prayer-for-racial-healingnbsp.

FEBRUARY 16, 2022

O God, call us into a deeper relationship to be your church for the sake of the world. Help us to see with new eyes the injustices within church and society. Call us to have a loving heart that respects and uplifts the humanity and dignity of every person; open our ears to listen to and learn from the experiences of people of color. Open our mouths to speak up and about injustices. Join us with others to work for racial equity and inclusion for all people.

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Intercessions for End Racism Sunday, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, https://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/End_Racism_Sunday.docx.

FEBRUARY 17, 2022

God, we are stunned and deeply troubled by the killings continue to occur all across our country. We lift prayers to you, asking that your Spirit intercede for us and for this world.

We pray that your Church does not become polarized any more than it already is in this moment—may the Church proclaim, with words and with action, both that black lives matter and that acts of violence against public servants are wrong.

May our community and the greater Church vocalize God’s definitive “NO” to the murder of black lives. May all of us be awakened and stand alongside the black community, willing to lay aside confusion and questions and to proclaim that this epidemic of police violence must be addressed. May privilege and power be used as a means to raise awareness and demand justice. May leaders feel pressure from all who live in their communities—white, brown, black—and respond with plans to stop the destruction of black bodies.

We lift in prayer the police officers who must show up for work today, who are doing a dangerous job for too little pay, who are personally blamed for the failure of the whole system. Give them wisdom and strength as those whom we rely on to maintain composure, fairness, and a commitment to the common good. Come alongside them, Lord. Grant them protection and empower them to serve justly.

We pray for healing in communities that carry the weight of generations of broken-down relationships between law enforcement and the people they are called to serve. We lament our history of racism and pray for love in the face of violence.

May your Church and our community be afflicted in its core again for this sign of a deep sickness in our communities.

May we listen to the prophetic voices speaking truth and pleading for action.

May our prayers find footing, that we might live lives that are answers to our prayers for peace and justice. Amen.

Prayer for Racial Justice, by Jason Feffer Aug 25, 2020. Adapted from a prayer by Indianapolis First Friends, posted https://www.practicetribe.com/uncategorized/prayer-for-racial-justice.

FEBRUARY 18, 2022

Hear our prayers, Holy God. Breathe your Spirit over us and all the earth, that barriers would crumble and divisions cease. Make us more fully your co-healers of the broken world. Unite us with all people in bonds of love, that the whole earth and all its peoples may be at peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

From Prayers for Sacred Ground, All Saints Episcopal Church, Hilton Head, South Carolina, https://www.allsaints-hhi.org/sacred-ground-prayers.

FEBRUARY 21, 2022

Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords, it is Presidents’ Day here in the USA. We remember and give thanks for those who have led us as a nation. We give honor on this day. It is easy for us to pick the ones who seem more honorable. But then it is getting harder to overlook aspects of their history that don’t seem worthy of honoring. Especially when we acknowledge our national sin of slavery and racism. Even those we hold in high regard carry this shame that still shapes our politics today.

What do we overlook in order to celebrate this day? What do we hide to burnish reputations and provide pride in nation and history? What sin must we endure to have a supposed peace or at least a functioning government today? Because that’s how things work, we’re told, how the sausage is made, how deals are done. We must turn a blind eye to some abuses. We must hold our nose and vote, some believe, because no one is good enough to lead.

But what if we held a higher standard? What if we really believed justice was possible, equality a goal worth striving for? What if we stopped excusing bad behavior, accepting abusive language, tolerating even subtle racism, let alone the more overt examples around us? What if we truly believed that you were the model for all of our leaders? How long would we have to vote “none of the above” until even presidents would rise to the expectations?

I think it might be worth a try. Lord, have mercy on us this Presidents’ Day and call us to live rightly in your eyes. Amen and amen.

Derek C. Weber, February 2022

FEBRUARY 22, 2022

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. John 14:27 NRSV

Heavenly Father, we know that You are the Source of the peace that passes understanding. In these troubled times, give us understanding minds and hearts as we listen to the cries of the oppressed, the wounded, the confused, and even to the voices of those with whom we disagree. Give us the wisdom to respond with Your Truth, offering words and actions that build up instead of tear down.

Across the nation, racism casts a long shadow. We believe that all life is sacred and worthy of our deepest reverence. Give us the courage to stand up for racial justice and reconciliation. As individuals, as a ministry, and as a nation, help us to see when we have missed the mark and empower us to do better.

Root up any violence or malice within our hearts and minds and transform it into love, a love of neighbor and a rightly ordered love of self. Let us work for peace and be peace to one another and the people we serve. Amen.

“A Prayer for Racial Justice,” From St. Dominic's Antiracism Team (St. DART), St. Dominic’s/Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, https://www.chausa.org/prayers/cha-prayer-library/prayer/a-prayer-for-racial-justice.

FEBRUARY 23, 2022

Dear people of God, our history is marred by oppression, by the enslavement of those who differ from us, and by the forces of racism that attack human dignity. The sin of racism is woven into our lives and our cultures, in small and great ways, in things done and things left undone.

As followers of Christ, we reject racism and the oppression of other human beings. In building Christ’s beloved community, we must strive to love all people, respect all people, and work for the good of all people. We must stand alongside God’s children of every race, language, and culture, and work together as agents of justice, peace, and approach God and humbly confess our sins: our participation in racism, our privilege based on racism, and our perpetuation of racism.

Silence is then kept for a time.

God, the Father, you freed your people from slavery in Egypt, yet the legacy of slavery deforms our lives today. Have mercy on us.

God, the Son, you prayed that all would be united in your love and service, yet the divisions among us rend your body. Have mercy on us.

We have failed to condemn discrimination that leads to unrest. Have mercy on us.

We have decried violence, while overlooking inequity and frustration from which it rises. Have mercy on us.

We have been fearful and distrustful of those who are different from us. Have mercy on us.

We have divided ourselves from others and refused to listen to or believe their experience. Have mercy on us.

We have been indifferent to the pain and suffering of our sisters and brothers. Have mercy on us.

We have held in contempt those who need our help, and not loved them with our whole hearts. Have mercy on us.

We have been self-satisfied in our privilege and denied our oppression of others. Have mercy on us.

We have preferred order over justice, and isolation over the struggle for peace. Have mercy on us.

We have quietly held good intentions and kept silent the message of reconciliation. Have mercy on us.

We have failed to act with courage for the sake of love. Have mercy on us.

Lord have mercy.

Christ have mercy.

Lord have mercy.

May Almighty God have mercy on us, grant us courage and conviction, and strengthen us to love others who are unlike us. May God, the Holy and Undivided Trinity, make us compassionate in our actions and courageous in our works, that we may see Christ’s Beloved Community in our day. Amen.

Excerpted from “Litany of Repentance,” The Rev. Charles Everson, June 3, 2020, a service with the Episcopal Diocese of West Missouri and the Central States Synod of the ELCA, https://www.diowestmo.org/prayer-for-racial-justice.html.

FEBRUARY 24, 2022

Holy God, a cloud of grief hangs heavy over my head, and I feel like I cannot breathe, so give me the strength to pray. I raise my hands toward the sky, and I lift my eyes to the hills which is where my help comes from. Lord, when the names of people who have been choked, shot, and assaulted is too many to count I know that not one soul has been forgotten by mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, cousins and friends. They remember…

…laughs and smiles,

…dreams and struggles,

…talents and personalities.

Now, these men and women are gone. Father, how long must we listen to the cries and screams as blood stains the sidewalk? How many videos must we watch before we begin to see a change?

Help me, God. Help us. Help the people of St. Paul, MN. Help Baton Rouge, LA. Help our nation. Help us examine ourselves. Help those of us who are sad and angry not to let these deaths be in vain. We do not pray for vengeance, but we do thirst for justice. We hope for healing between neighbors and officers called to protect and serve. We long for the day when young men will live long enough to be old men and parents will not have to say ‘good-bye’ too soon.

My hope is in you, God. Deliver me from all my fears. O God, come quickly to help us. O Lord, come quickly to save us. In the name of the one who came that we might have life and have life more abundantly.


“A Prayer of Lament for Those Who Cannot Breathe,” Rev. Prince Rivers, senior pastor of Union Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina, The Transforming Center, Wheaton IL, https://transformingcenter.org/2016/07/prayer-lament-breathe.

FEBRUARY 25, 2022

Father, you created each one of us in your own image. Yet yours is a world made glorious by its rich diversity. This we sometimes misunderstand, sometimes fear. Give us the patience to build on what unites us, to celebrate our differences and to learn from them.

Grant us the wisdom to recognise your Church, beyond the walls of a building, reaching out across all communities, countries and cultures.

Give us the courage to offer refuge to those in need, to challenge prejudice and seek justice for all.

Help us see that you created us in your image. Neighbour or stranger, always our brother or sister.


Carj Prayer for Racial Justice, Catholic Association for Racial Justice, 12 Feb. 2017, London, UK, https://www.csan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Racial-Justice-Sunday-resources-booklet-2017-1.pdf.

FEBRUARY 28, 2022

Loving and faithful God, we come to you, Father, to ask that through your Son, Jesus and in communion with the Holy Spirit, you help us in the battle against America’s “original sin” of racism that divides us from being the Body of Christ that we are called to be as your children.

We implore you to give us your wisdom, so that we may build a community founded on the Gospel message of the life and dignity of all people from conception to natural death, and to live in communion like the divine communion of the Holy Trinity.

Bless parents that they may form their children in faith, to love one another regardless of skin color, ethnicity and national origin, just as Jesus loves us. Bless and protect all of us as we live out our faith in being “instruments of your peace” as St. Francis said. Fill us with a thirst for justice and righteousness.

Hear our prayer and give us the courage, compassion, and perseverance to root out any form of injustice within our communities and to bring the healing love of Christ to all in need.


Excepted from “Made in God’s Image,” a prayer from the Archdiocese of Washington, written by Wilton Cardinal Gregory, The Most Reverend Mario E. Dorsonville, The Most Reverend Roy E. Campbell, Jr., The Most Reverend Michael W. Fisher. https://adw.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/12/20PrayerCard-Anti-Racism-initiative-Final.pdf.

MARCH 1, 2022

Everyone loves a festival, God of celebrations and seasons, especially one that has some sort of spiritual significance. So, bring on those pancakes, offer up the paczki, sugar up those king cakes – we’ll eat them knowing we are helping to avoid temptation after tomorrow!

But before this was Mardi Gras or “Fat Tuesday,” it was Shrove Tuesday. It was a day to offer confession, to “shrive” ourselves of the sins that cling so tightly. That seems infinitely harder to do. We’ll gladly eat up the butter and sugar and eggs for the fast we might want to observe during Lent. But letting go of our sins? Admitting them first? That seems against the grain of our current practice. We’d rather hide the sins of our past, pretend they didn’t happen, fool ourselves into thinking it’s all better now than admit we have sinned against you and against our brothers and sisters.

How will we ever shrive ourselves of sin when we won’t even admit sin dwells in us? Help us Lord, this Shrove Tuesday, and every day to be those who confess that which divides us and work for that which unites us. In the name of the Christ we follow, Amen.

Derek C. Weber, February 2022

MARCH 2, 2022

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

The Tragedy of Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, Act V.

Loving God,

Is Ash Wednesday about the futility of our human existence? Are we who bear the ashes—a mark of mortality and frailty—idiots and shadows, signifying nothing? Is this our proclamation this day, our utter hopelessness? Our complete helplessness?

Or does the mark signify something after all? A call to community, an invitation to unity and equity and justice, perhaps. In this holy season, those who have been separated are brought together; those who have been overlooked are reclaimed as beloved; those who have been pushed to the margins are given the center place.

May this Ash Wednesday be a call to begin the journey to live as though the kin-dom of God were our rule of life and the call for justice a sign of repentance and hope. In Christ’s name, may it be so. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, February 2022

MARCH 3, 2022

Gracious God, we thank you for the human family filled with all the peoples of the earth. We are thankful that you have created such an amazing and wonderful diversity of people and cultures. We pray that you will enrich our lives with ever-widening circles of fellowship, so that we may discover your presence in those who differ from us. Deliver us from the bondage of racism that denies the humanity of some people and deprives all people of the blessings of the diversity you have created; deliver us from assumptions that we make without thinking, and presumptions that we take without asking. Lord in your mercy:

Hear our prayer.

Bless and strengthen each effort we make as individuals when we seek to understand ourselves and others as well as the ways we benefit from personal privilege and power, so that we may be allies who challenge bias and prejudice within ourselves and others. Lord in your mercy:

Hear our prayer.

Bless and strengthen each effort we make to change the systems and structures of our schools and educational institutions; our politics and civic policies; and our economic institutions’ methods and models; so that the roots of racism may be recognized and purged from among us. Lord in your mercy:

Hear our prayer.

O God of unconditional love, look with compassion on our nation. Break down the walls that separate us from one another. Cast out the spirit of violence that afflicts so many. Cleanse us of malicious ideas and ideologies. Unite us in bonds of love like unto your own. And through all our struggle for justice, work within us to accomplish your purpose and establish your kingdom vision. Lord in your mercy:

Hear our prayer.

O Lord, open our hearts to respect and uplift the dignity of every person. Open our eyes to see the injustices within church and society. Open our ears to listen and learn from the experiences of people of color. Open our mouths to speak out against prejudice and injustice. We commit ourselves to work for justice and peace, and to pursue a deeper relationship to you, Lord, so that we truly may be the body of Christ on earth, your church for the sake of the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This prayer is a meditation and elaboration based on “Worship Resources for Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,” by Zion’s “Liberty Bell” Reformed United Church of Christ, Allentown, PA. http://libertybellchurch.org/wp-content/themes/atahualpa351/images/Prayer%20150906%20Prayer%20to%20End%20Racism.pdf.

MARCH 4, 2022

During this time of uncertainty and great social tension, let us bring to our loving and just God our prayers for peace and equal justice for all.

For our Church, that we may celebrate and welcome the diverse faces of Christ in our community, our worship, our ministries, and our leaders, let us pray to the Lord.

For world leaders, that they may work to end the violence perpetrated by verbal attacks, deadly weapons, and cold indifference. May our nation and countries around the world become havens of peace, let us pray to the Lord.

For our community, that we may receive the grace to see every human being as a child of God, regardless of race, language, or culture, let us pray to the Lord.

For parents and educators, that we may teach our children how to resolve differences non-violently and respectfully and have the courage to model it in our own behavior, let us pray to the Lord.

For our public officials, that the Spirit of Wisdom may help them strive to work for equal education, suitable housing, and equal employment opportunities for all, let us pray to the Lord.

For solidarity in our global human family, that we may be vigilant in our protection of those who are most vulnerable and most in need, let us pray to the Lord.

For those who have died, especially those who have died in the pursuit of justice, may they be welcomed into the great glory of God’s love, let us pray to the Lord.

Loving and just God, you call all peoples to live as brothers and sisters, regardless of their culture, their language, or the color of their skin. Forgive us for the times we have failed and give us your grace to overcome the evil of racism so that our hearts may become free of all prejudice and animosity. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Adapted from: USCCB, 2018, by the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg, FL, https://www.dosp.org/racialharmony/pray/prayers-of-the-faithful-against-racism.

MARCH 7, 2022

Oh Lord, let your light shine in people’s hearts that the false philosophy that one nation is superior than the other becomes disqualified, Lord, help us to bend our knees, to kneel and bow before The King of Glory, and to pray that the love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will melt people’s hearts and disperse hatred and prejudice, and impress upon them the truth that ALL PEOPLE ARE CREATED EQUAL without exception!

Archbishop Costakis Evangelou, International President, Ixthus Church Council, cited in “Prayers for Justice” by the Free Churches Group of the UK, https://www.freechurches.org.uk/news/2021/5/28/prayers-for-racial-justice.

MARCH 8, 2022

International Women’s Day, #BreaktheBias

Nurturing God, who like a woman hid the kin-dom within us like yeast in three measures of flour, we pray to you for justice and for equality. We pray for equality and for fairness. We pray for transformation and for hope.

But most of all, we pray for eyes to see that kin-dom within us, among us, around us. Help us see how we might relieve the burdens of poverty on those who bear so much of the weight – the women and children. Help us see how women have been objectified and blamed for the abuses perpetuated perpetrated against them. Help us see how black and brown women in particular have struggled to make their way in our society, have borne the abuse and scorn and neglect of systems that devalue them and their labors.

We pray, on this International Women’s Day, that we might begin to acknowledge the contributions that women have made to the nation and world. Let your Spirit work among us, as a kin-dom yeast, to help us rise to a new way of being one community, in solidarity with women and men and children of all colors and abilities and origins. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, March 2022

MARCH 9, 2022

May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really can make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.

A Franciscan Blessing, cited in The Pastor’s Workshop, https://thepastorsworkshop.com/prayers-of-confession-on-race-reconciliation.

MARCH 10, 2022

“O God of love and Giver of oneness of heart, Who grants the true oneness of mind towards virtue; Who has also granted unto us, through Your Only Begotten Son, the new commandment that we love one another as You have loved us... We ask You, O our Lord, grant us, throughout our lifetime on earth, and more especially at present, thoughts that do not recall to memory former evil deeds, and a conscience without hypocrisy, but grant us faithful thoughts and a heart full of fraternal love.”


Prayer of Reconciliation; Coptic Orthodox Liturgy of St Cyril, shared as part of the daily prayers for racial justice by Fr Morkos Fakhry, Coptic Orthodox Church, Diocese of London, cited on the Fre Churches Group website, https://www.freechurches.org.uk/news/tag/CTE.

MARCH 11, 2022

When will they listen God? When will they hear the voices of the oppressed? When will the excuses end? God, we your people are now in pain and no one seems to care. They want to focus on what we do, but they do not want to acknowledge what they have done. They refuse to turn away from their sin. They have sullied the table. Their ignorance has taken the lives of George Floyd, Antwon Rose Jr., Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, and many more.

God, we turn to you now in prayer for our black and brown siblings. Guide us! Protect us with your mighty hand! God, we are so tired. Our spirits have become weary from the gaslighting, the justifying, the minimizing, and the silencing of our voices. God, let your spirit reenergize us. Let the fires of our rage never be quenched by the manipulative tears of our oppressors. Let the fires of our ancestors bring forth a new Pentecost. One that ignites the hearts of all of humanity and calls us to learn a new language. The language of the oppressed. May the master’s tools be broken. May our rage be louder than ever! May our outcry for justice disrupt and dismantle the systems of oppression. God, we pray for your peace in our world, knowing that the only way for it to come is by justice being done for your children. Amen!

A Prayer of Lament by Jerrell Williams, The Mennonite Church, USA, https://www.mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/lament-violence-of-racism.

MARCH 14, 2022

O God, forgive us for being a party to injustice in the lives of these your children, our Black sisters and brothers, and all victims of systemic racism in these United States.

Forgive us for not seeing them as coheirs to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Forgive us for not hearing their cries, “I CAN’T BREATHE” or “HANDS UP, DON’T SHOOT.”

Forgive us for not lifting them up as your children, precious in your sight.

Increase our strength, we pray, O Lord, that we may drink deeply of love’s power and everywhere promote your justice and peace.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

From “Requiem for Black Children of God,” a service created by Bishop Fernand Cheri of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, https://paxchristiusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/REQUIEM-FOR-BLACK-CHILDREN-OF-GOD-edited.pdf, pages 7-8.

MARCH 15, 2022

Dear God, in our efforts to dismantle racism, we understand that we struggle not merely against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities -- those institutions and systems that keep racism alive by perpetuating the lie that some members of the family are inferior and others superior.

Create in us a new mind and heart that will enable us to see brothers and sisters in the faces of those divided by racial categories.

Give us the grace and strength to rid ourselves of racial stereotypes that oppress some of us while providing entitlements to others.

Help us to create a Church and nation that embraces the hopes and fears of oppressed People of Color where we live, as well as those around the world.

Heal your family God, and make us one with you, in union with our brother Jesus, and empowered by your Holy Spirit. Amen.

A Prayer for Dismantling Racism by the Pax Christi USA Anti-Racism Team, http://web-extract.constantcontact.com/v1/social_annotation_v2?permalink_uri=https%3A%2F%2Fmyemail.constantcontact.com%2FBlack-Lives-Matter--Pray--Study--Act.html%3Fsoid%3D1011223557022%26aid%3DWjIokz7MVso&image_url=https%3A%2F%2Ffiles.constantcontact.com%2Fe93fe917be%2F163c7615-c753-4c34-a38f-e0262c37f3bc.jpg&fbclid=IwAR3djfly8prLnTI4aPXgIKBO2xSURCHDJ3H3WjqOQKtBjfgbprm76EpJ8lc.

MARCH 16, 2022

O God of unconditional love, you who show no partiality in respect to people or nations, we have heard your good news of great joy for all the people. We hear that good news, and in hearing, believe. We know that your sanctuary is a house of worship for all people, with no regard for the color of our skin.

As we worship you, knit us into a people, a seamless garment of many colors. May we celebrate our unity, made whole in our diversity. Forgive us for our inability to let our “old selves” die to the world. We acknowledge that we participate in structures that are inherently racist, and yet we so often do nothing to remedy it. Show us we fail when we judge others according to the color of their flesh.

God, who is rich in mercy, loves us even when we were dead in sin, and made us alive together with Christ. By grace, you have been saved. In the name of +Jesus Christ, your sins are forgiven. Almighty God strengthen you with power through the Holy Spirit, that Christ may live in your hearts through faith. Amen.

Adapted from the United Church of Christ’s "Prayers for Racial Justice Sunday" (www.ucc.org/worship/ways) and from the United Church of Canada (www.united-church.ca/bfw/resources.shtm), https://reconciliationministry.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/EndRacismSunday-AMELitany-PrayersofConfessionForgiveness.pdf, page 1.

MARCH 17, 2022

Christ be with me, Christ within me
Christ behind me, Christ before me
Christ beside me, Christ to win me
Christ to comfort me and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger
Christ in hearts of all that love me
Christ in mouth of friend or stranger.

Traditional Prayer on St. Patrick’s Breastplate (390-461 A.D.)

Top of the morning, God of all peoples from all places. Do I sound Irish? It is said that on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish. If only that were true. If only there was a day when that which divides us, that which makes us suspicious of one another, that which breeds fear and hatred would vanish in a sense of unity and shared identity.

Except we would probably find another reason to hate, another way to look down, another opportunity to shun. There was a time when the Irish were hated, considered subhuman, the dregs of society. Just like the Italians, or the Jews, or the Africans, or the Latins, or … or … or.

We’re not all Irish on this day or any day. We are all a part of the glorious, multicolored tapestry of humanity that you designed, that you breathed into life. Maybe St. Patrick was on to something, if he indeed wrote that prayer on his breastplate. Maybe we can celebrate the differences, honor the nuance and the harmony that exists in all human creation, and be united by the Christ who gave his life for all.

Christ be with me, and Christ be with you. Christ be in all. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, March 2022

MARCH 18, 2022

O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, Public Domain, https://www.creativecommonsprayer.com/vocations/parents-breaking-white-silence/.

MARCH 21, 2022

Gracious God:
We come before You as a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquities.
We repent, O God, for the 500-year oppression of people of color.
We repent of the smug self-satisfaction with our material prosperity—prosperity rooted in exploitation.
We repent of our church, steeped in the cultural values of consumerism, comfort, and White supremacy.
We repent of tithing mint and dill and cumin while neglecting justice and mercy and faith. We have, indeed, strained out a gnat and swallowed a camel.
We repent of our deliberate ignorance about race and racism, the practiced innocence and convenient naiveté that protect us from acknowledging the truth.
We repent of the myths we tell; the lies we defend; the unearned, undeserved privileges we like to call blessings.
We repent of the institutions we have built, the systems and structures, the policies and practices that created and perpetuate White supremacy.
We repent of blaming the oppressed for their oppression, masking our hate with pity and contempt.
We repent of our self-serving complacency, our pretense that time equals progress, our insistence that we are one of the good guys.
Father, forgive us, for we know exactly what we do.
Lord, hear our prayer . . .

Charles Green, A Prayer of Repentance for White Supremacy, Hope College, https://blogs.hope.edu/getting-race-right/uncategorized/prayer-of-repentance-for-white-supremacy/.

MARCH 22, 2022

Create in us a new mind and heart that will enable us to see brothers and sisters in the faces of those divided by racial categories. Give us the grace and strength to rid ourselves of racial stereotypes that oppress some of us while providing entitlements to others.

Help us to create a Church and nation that embraces the hopes and fears of oppressed People of Color where we live, as well as those around the world. Heal your family God, and make us one with you, in union with our brother Jesus, and empowered by your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team of the Sisters of Providence, St Mary of the Woods, Indiana, https://spsmw.org/prayer/prayer-dismantling-racism/.

MARCH 23, 2022

O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth in our nation, to support one another without hatred or bitterness, that, being bonded in love, we may live in unity with you and one another; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for Unity, Washington National Cathedral, June 2020, https://cathedral.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Prayers_Washington-National-Cathedral_June-7-2020.pdf.

MARCH 24, 2022

There’s a war on, God of peace, as there has been, it seems, since the beginning of humankind. A strong man fears his neighbors, is protecting his security, he claims. A familiar story. It has the potential to break out into a global confrontation, another “world war.” No one wants that, yet at the same time, there are voices saying we should do more. We should help those attacked; we should arm the fighters; we should provide aid and comfort to the refugees; we should consider being more present, working toward a resolution, open our borders to help those who are fleeing.

Indeed, we should help. But some of those voices, God of refugee and of victims, are the ones wanting to build a wall to keep out the undesirables. The ones who are coming to steal our jobs and live off our handouts. Some of these are fleeing a war of violence, strong men who are afraid of their neighbors and protecting their security. But those, we don’t want to help. It can’t be that the former are white skinned and the latter are brown, can it? It can’t be that some look like those calling for more aid and are worthy of our help, while those who are crossing our borders do not and are not worthy, can it?

When you told us to love our neighbors, just who did you mean for us to love? In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, March 2022

MARCH 25, 2022

“Justice, justice shall you pursue.”

Justice You commanded us to pursue,
To make holy the paths of righteousness,
And to break the realm of wickedness.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

We were told to love,
Oh how we have failed, O Lord,
How the paths of holy we desecrated,
Letting hate creep into our being,
Letting hate remain and fester.

Look upon us, O Lord!
For we are like Sodom,
Our justice perverted like Gomorrah!
See how the wicked flourish!
See how they walk without blame!
See, O God, see!

We are like David, blinded by lust and greed.
Nathan stands before us, naming each of our crimes

We are like Cain, hiding from the blood of our brother,
The blood of our brother crying out from the ground.

Sins against our kin hold no punishment or grievance in this unjust nation.
We kill our neighbors, and we are praised.
We strike down holy worlds and are raised up in honor.
We murder, and we are praised as saints.

God of justice,
God of justice,
Let justice flow as a mighty stream.

By Jaden Diamond, a prayer in response to the acquittal of the shooter who killed two racial justice activists, and injured one, in Kenosha, Wi., in the summer of 2020, on Ritualwell, https://www.ritualwell.org/ritual/see-o-god-see-prayer-after-kenosha-verdict.

MARCH 28, 2022

Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ, who took human form and broke down the walls that divide;

We seek your forgiveness for not living out the truth that all are one in Christ, for the sin of racism.

We pray for all those affected by the marginalisation of prejudice and the violence of racist words and actions.

We pray that we might uproot its cancerous and systemic hold on our own institutions.

We pray that we might recognise in reverence your divine image and likeness in our neighbour,

And find joy in the resemblance.

We pray in your name and seeking your glory. Amen.

A prayer written by Archbishop Justin Welby and Dr Sanjee Perera, Archbishops' Adviser on Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns, for Racial Justice Sunday. https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/news/news-and-statements/prayer-racial-justice-sunday.

MARCH 29, 2022

The Lincoln Center presents a weekly series under the heading #memorialforusall. We invite you to take the fifteen minutes required and listen to this instrumental presentation by Anthony McGill, principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic and Artistic Director of the Music Advancement Program at the Julliard School. Listen and be moved as he invites us to pray and weep and hope for transformation as we lament in a memorial for us all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYwb7Nt6nkw

Lord, hear the prayers of our hearts and souls. Amen.

MARCH 30, 2022

Merciful God, we pray for a world in which the lowly are lifted up, as we remember the children of minority ethnic communities living with stigma and racism navigating institutions who judge them. God of justice and peace…

Hear our prayer.

Deliver us from the fear and suspicion that separate us from each other and place limits on hope and healing. God of justice and peace…

Hear our prayer.

Grant us your forgiveness from the sin of racism for we have been taught in your word that ‘there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus’. (Galatians 3:28). But because of racism, one part of the body claims not to feel the pain of the other part of the same body. God of justice and peace…

Hear our prayer.

We pray on this day for Christians and for people of goodwill that we will stand for the rights of all human beings regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, national origin, colour and gender. God of justice and peace…

Hear our prayer.

We pray for your courage and wisdom in the fight against the policing of conversations about systemic racism that limit the depth of dialogue, understanding and attempts to diminish and dismiss truthful conversations. God of justice and peace…

Hear our prayer.

May each of us acknowledge our part in mistakes and sins of the past pertaining to discrimination and racism, and may a spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation exist among peoples who share a history of mutual mistrust, hatred or aggression. God of justice and peace…

Hear our prayer.

May all victims of racial prejudice be recipients of your abundant grace and love so that they may forgive those who persecute them, and may their persecutors have a change of heart, even as all people seek to work for justice, peace and reconciliation. God of justice and peace…

Hear our prayer.

Global Prayer UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, excepted from Prayers of Intercession, https://www.oikoumene.org/resources/prayers/global-prayer-un-international-day-for-the-elimination-of-racial-discrimination.

MARCH 31, 2022

O Lord, how long will your church be divided along racial lines? How long will the lingering effects of animosity, injustice, and pride mark your blessed bride? How long, O Lord, will my white brothers and sisters not understand the pain in those whose experience is different than ours? How long, O Lord, will my minority brothers and sisters struggle with distrust and feel ostracized?

God, grant us the heart to weep with those who weep. Give us empathy and understanding. Create trust where there is pain. Make your church the united bride you want her to be.

These divisions of mistrust and historical bias run deep, O God. Without you, nothing will ever change. In our pain and our weariness, we express our hope that Jesus can change our hearts and unite the church. We believe the gospel is greater than our divisions. And we long for the day when the world will take note of how we love each other. So, help us to meet each other in this prayerful journey. We come to learn to lament. Hear us as we weep together, that we might walk together.

In the name of Jesus, our King. Amen.

A Prayer of Lament from Crossway.org, https://www.crossway.org/articles/a-prayer-for-racial-reconciliation/.

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