Home Worship Planning Preaching Resources Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism (July-September 2021)

Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism (July-September 2021)

JULY 1, 2021

Good and gracious God,
Who loves and delights in all people,
we stand in awe before You,
knowing that the spark of life within each person on earth is the spark of your divine life.

Differences among cultures and races are multicolored manifestations of Your Light.

May our hearts and minds be open to celebrate similarities and differences among our sisters and brothers.

We place our hopes for racial harmony in our committed action and in Your Presence in our Neighbor.

May all peoples live in Peace.


Sisters of Mercy, Prayer for the Elimination of Racism, https://www.sistersofmercy.org/resources/prayer-the-elimination-of-racism.

JULY 2, 2021

God, hear our prayer: May we participate in your act of redemption, trading in our partiality for a divine justice and solidarity with those oppressed.

Verse & Voice 06.17.21, Sojourners email, https://sojo.net/daily-wisdom/verse-and-voice-06172021.

JULY 5, 2021

This weekend, God of all the nations, we are dreaming patriot dreams. We are celebrating freedom and independence, and we are doing it as we do all things, loudly and to excess. That there are things to celebrate, things for which we need to be thankful to those who have gone before seems obvious to many. We give thanks for the glimpses of the good we can be and can do.

Yet there are many who do not celebrate this weekend. There are many who have been left out of the American Dream, who have been denied liberty and justice for all, from whom this nation’s “success” isn’t experienced as “nobleness,” as we sometimes sing on this national day. Ought there be confession and repentance instead of only loud and proud, explosive celebrations?

What has happened to that patriot dream, God who knows no borders, no divisions, no lesser or greater? What happened to the understanding that patriot is about community and not about self? What happened to the hope that one day our dreams will be folded into your dream and will then truly be undimmed by human tears?

We are dreaming patriot dreams, God who knows our hearts. Let us not hide from who we have been and continue to be, but instead resolve to live into the grace that you have shed. Continue to mend our every flaw and confirm our soul in self-control. May we be who we claim to be in policy and in action.

In the name of the one to whom we pledge true allegiance, Jesus Christ, our hope. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, June 2021

JULY 6, 2021

Dear God,

In the effort to dismantle racism, I understand that I 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 our family are inferior and others superior.

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

Give me the grace and strength to rid myself of racial stereotypes that oppress some in my family while providing entitlements to others.

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

Help me to heal your family making me one with you and empowered by your Holy Spirit.

Adapted by Debra Mooney, PhD from Pax Christi, https://www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/prayer-index/prayers-for-racial-justice-and-reconciliation.

JULY 7, 2021

O Holy God,
We come in confession for our resistance to difference.
We have neither loved ourselves nor our neighbors.
We have passed by those who are unfamiliar, overlooking need
due to busyness, discomfort, and fear.
We have held deep prejudices, unconscious and conscious,
against people who are not like us.
O Love Eternal, heal our pains and amend our faults.
Guide us in ways of disquiet and compassion,
that we might love you with all that we are,
that we might see your children as you do.
We pray in the name of Jesus,
our most beloved neighbor,
who cared for us even to the cross.

Sarah McCain, used in worship at West End United Methodist Church, Nashville, 6/27/21

JULY 8, 2021

A Prayer of A‐Woke‐ning

Oh gracious God…

…How could my thoughts have been so poisoned?
My brain must be rotting from the inside out.

…How could my feelings have been so fueled by anger and hate?
My heart must be so withered and tiny it lacks compassion.

…How could I have watched and done nothing amid so much abuse and injustice?
My eyes must be barely open, lacking focus, nearing blindness.

…How could I have spoken such cold words; that they freeze midair, tiny icicle daggers that pierce their intended recipient?
My tongue must be as forked as any serpent.

…How could I have heard such hateful rhetoric and stood idly by?
My ears must be deaf, clogged full with so much vile noise.

What a grotesque figure I became.
Only visible to the mirror in my mind’s eye, a monster stands before me.

Learning. Wanting. Knowing. Confessing. Seeking change. Growing. Forgiving.
I shed the skin that cloaked my sins.
Oh, the irony to shed that, which on others, I could not understand or accept.

Rejoicing in the metamorphosis.
Celebrating the differences.
No longer superior to my brothers and sisters of color.
No longer superior to anyone.
Only superior to my former self.

In your holy and precious name, we pray. Amen.

Roger White, Western Pennsylvania Conference of the UMC

JULY 9, 2021

I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom’s way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind

Of such I dream, my world!

Langston Hughes, American poet, social activist, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri, https://allpoetry.com/I-Dream-A-World.

JULY 12, 2021

Help us to dissolve the barriers of race and work for a just society in which none are despised and discriminated against on the basis of false divisions of race and in which each is valued for their true humanity.

We ask this in the name of Jesus, who saw beyond all human divisions and reached out to the good within each person. Amen.

From the ecumenical service “Christians United Against Racism” at the World Conference Against Racism in 2001, in Prayers and Reflections on Racial Justice, compiled by Reverend Canon Cynthia Dowdle OBE and Ultan Russell, June 2020, 30, https://derby.anglican.org/en/our-mission/community-engagement/download/3407_5776d33c0f6c3234add51d79c44c250a.html.

JULY 13, 2021

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.

Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia, https://socialjusticeresourcecenter.org/prayers/racism/.

JULY 14, 2021

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. - Jeremiah 29:11 NRSV

Forgive me, Lord, but whose hope? Your prophet Jeremiah told your people a long time ago that you had plans for them. Plans that would keep them safe, plans that would build them up, plans that gave them a future with hope. Was that just then? Or is it now too? Was that just them, or is that us too? Was that about the return from exile all those years ago? If so, then well done; it happened, good work. We celebrate the God of history.

But it’s still in the book. We read it often. It’s on t-shirts and mugs; it hangs on my wall in beautiful calligraphy. Is that us too? Do you really have the whole world in your hands? Because it doesn’t always look that way. It looks like it is in our hands. And we’ve made a mess of it. We’ve drawn lines over it. We preferred some over others. We privileged a few at the expense of the many. Do you really have plans for us? Can we trust in a future with hope?

And whose hope? That’s my real question, Lord. Because I’m afraid if it is my hope, then it will be too self-centered to be a real hope. If it is the hope of “those in charge,” then it will likely favor the status quo. So, can it be your hope? Please? Can it be the hope of the broken, of the marginalized, the oppressed, and the hurting? Can it be the hope of those called less than human, less than real, the hope of the hungry, the frightened, the hopeless?

Whose hope shapes our future, O God who offers a kin-dom of justice and peace, of healing and wholeness, of equality and unity? Can it be your hope and not mine? In the name of the one who lived hope before us, Amen.

Derek C. Weber, July 2021

JULY 15, 2021

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.

Augustinian Secretariate for Justice and Peace and midwestaugustinians.org, https://static1.squarespace.com/static/50e5979fe4b0d83d9231662c/t/58c3181dbf629a85334f8694/1489180701327/justpaxracepray.pdf. Used with permission.

JULY 16, 2021

Good and gracious God, through your Son’s words you commanded us to be lamps shining on a stand, not under a bowl or a bed. Grant that our words and actions be always an evident manifestation of your light. You promised to those who hunger and thirst for justice that they will be filled. Give us the strength to commit to personal change and discover our own biases, so that we can see everyone with the same eyes your Son saw all those around him. We want to create access for those who lack it and change structures of inequity. Strengthen us and be our refuge in this quest.

This we pray: AMEN

Opening Prayer in the Prayer service by Dr. Julio Quintero, Associate Director, University of Dayton Office of Diversity and Inclusion, https://udayton.edu/ministry/csc/advocacy/antiracism_prayers/fight-for-equity-justice.php.

JULY 19, 2021

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.


Written by the Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team, https://spsmw.org/prayer/prayer-dismantling-racism.

JULY 20, 2021

Lord, racism is a social sin that has taken root in the garden of our hearts. We need you to convert us, Lord, and purify our hearts, so that we can become agents of care, who walk by faith in justice, hope, love, healing and reconciliation for your greater glory.

It’s time to embrace our Black brothers and sisters, instead of standing by while they are continually killed by a tree we need to uproot.

Racism is sinful and harmful to your creation. Guard our hearts against it and move us forward to enact change.


An Examen for Racism, By Patrick Saint-Jean, SJ, https://www.jesuits.org/stories/an-examen-for-racism.

JULY 21, 2021

I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.

-Ephesians 3:16-17 NRSV

I don’t want to be impatient, Lord, but can you hurry up with the rooting? See, I notice that the word in Ephesians 3:17 is passive. We’re being rooted and grounded in love. Being strengthened. Being rooted. Being grounded. Is this a construction project you’ve got on your list somewhere? Is this an essential part of the infrastructure of the faith that we have left unattended for way too long?

When we imagine what our world might be like if we were rooted and grounded in love—rather than in rights, or privilege, or stuff, the stuff of this world that we think is going to save us—our minds reel with the image of that world. That rooted world, that grounded world. The divisions we see would melt away; the hate that is harbored in our hearts would dissipate. The justice we hold at arm’s length would become our passion and our hope. Equality, respect, dignity, would be a matter of course.

I don’t want to be impatient, Lord, but can you hurry up with the rooting? We’re in a mess right now; the foundation is cracking, and the ground is shaking. Can you hurry up and root us in love? It’s time to start construction on a new way of being. Let Christ dwell in our hearts because we’re rooted and grounded. I don’t want to be impatient. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, July 2021

JULY 22, 2021

Love incarnate,
Fountain of Mercy and Justice
In a world of inequity and pain
May our actions be our prayer.
We cry out for Shalom, fullness of life to all.
Let the Spirit of Truth guide us.
Let the Spirit of Love free us.
Give us the compassion, courage and resolve
to become the light we seek
that many may see life and their dignity restored
Inspire us to embody a world without injustice and prejudice
Form us into channels of your love and peace
Let the river of justice and mercy flood our imperfect world
Quenching the thirst of parched souls and lands.
Abide in us o Liberator that we become the Word
so that the world may have Life, Life in all its abundance.

Anti-Racism Taskforce, Church of England, 26 Feb. 2021, https://www.churchofengland.org/news-and-media/news-releases/update-anti-racism-taskforce.

JULY 23, 2021

Holy god, who created all colors of people, allow us to honor your light in every soul. Help us to see you in one another, to hear your voice in all people, and to work to end racism in our church, our communities, and the world. Amen

From Christ Church Anchorage, Weekly Prayers, https://www.christchurchanchorage.org/weekly%20prayers.pdf.

JULY 26, 2021

We confess our sin, individual and collective, by silence or action: through the violation of human dignity based on race, class, age, sex, nation or faith; through the exploitation of people because of greed and indifference; through the misuse of power in personal, communal, national and international life; through the search for security by those military and economic forces that threaten human existence; through the abuse of technology, which endangers the earth and all life upon it. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

From Ceremonies IV: A Collection of Worship Resources for United Methodist Women (New York: Women’s Division, the General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church, 2003). Out of print. Cited: https://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/download-resources/racial-justice-tools-for-leaders.pdf.

JULY 27, 2021

Almighty and loving God, you, who created ALL people in your image, lead us to seek your compassion as we listen to the stories of our past. You gave your only Son, Jesus, who died and rose again so that sins will be forgiven. We place before you the pain and anguish of dispossession of land, language, lore, culture and family kinship that so many indigenous peoples have experienced. We live in faith that all people will rise from the depths of despair and hopelessness. That so many indigenous peoples have endured the pain and loss of loved ones, through the separation of children from their families.

We are sorry and ask God’s forgiveness. Touch the hearts of the broken, homeless and afflicted and heal their spirits. In your mercy and compassion walk with us as we continue our journey of healing to create a future that is just and equitable.

Lord, you are our hope. Amen.

Australian Council of Churches (adapted), © Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission National Council of Churches in Australia. 2003, https://www.stjosephsparishtra... 28, 2021

Up above my head
(Up above my head)
I hear music in the air
(I hear music in the air)

And I really do believe
(Yeah) I really do believe
There's a Heaven somewhere
(There's a Heaven somewhere)

Sister Rosetta Tharp, Up Above My Head, first recorded 1947.

There is music, God of beauty and wonder, all around us. If we would but listen, if we would still our shouting, tamp down our rage, move out of ourselves for a moment. For a breath. There is music, your music, heavenly music, that echoes through the cosmos, that whispers through the trees, that trills through the birds and bubbles in the creeks.

But we’ve gotten so loud. So angry. So divided and suspicious and afraid. We’ve closed our doors and shut our minds. We’ve built our walls and made ramparts against our neighbors. We’ve drawn lines and colored our enemies. We’ve forgotten to listen to the music that’s up above our heads. In our rush to make our divided hell, we’ve forgotten to declare that there is a heaven somewhere.

Lord of the Dance, sing louder, please. Strike up the band, enlist the angel chorus, call us to hear the music and dance our belief in heaven, dance our way to heaven, dance until heaven breaks out on earth. Dance with the partners you have given, of all hues and tongues and dress. Dance as though we believed peace was possible. Make us still our noise and let us hear the music again so we can know joy. Know heaven. Know you. I really do believe there’s a God right here. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, July 2021

JULY 29, 2021

God of Loving Light,
we confess that we try to build walls,
separating ourselves into categories.
It feels so much easier to make assumptions about others
than to take the time to know them.
Forgive us for the walls we build that strive to keep others
out of your holy presence.
Remind us today that you are greater than walls and buildings.
Help us work alongside you to heal the hurting within us
and around us.
May we be open to feeling your presence,
trusting that you are with us. Amen.

Katie Minnis, from West End UMC’s (Nashville, TN) worship bulletin, July 18, 2021, http://www.westendumc.org/files/uploads/WEUMC2021-07-18bulletin845.pdf.

JULY 30, 2021

Wake me up, Lord, so that the evil of racism
finds no home within me.
Keep watch over my heart, Lord,
and remove from me any barriers to your grace,
that may oppress and offend my brothers and sisters.
Fill my spirit, Lord, so that I may give
services of justice and peace.
Clear my mind, Lord, and use it for your glory.
And finally, remind us, Lord, that you said,
"blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God."

From “A Prayer Service for Racial Healing in Our Land,” United States Conference on Catholic Bishops, 2021, https://www.usccb.org/resources/prayer-service-racial-healing-our-land.

AUGUST 2, 2021

When our eyes do not see the gravity of racial justice,
Shake us from our slumber and open our eyes, O Lord.

When out of fear we are frozen into inaction,
Give us a spirit of bravery, O Lord.

When we try our best but say the wrong things,
Give us a spirit of humility, O Lord.

When the chaos of this dies down,
Give us a lasting spirit of solidarity, O Lord.

When it becomes easier to point fingers outwards,
Help us to examine our own hearts, O Lord.

God of truth, in your wisdom, Enlighten Us.
God of hope in your kindness, Heal Us.
Creator of All People, in your generosity, Guide Us.

Racism breaks your heart,
break our hearts for what breaks yours, O Lord.

Ever present God, you called us to be in relationship with one another and promised to dwell wherever two or three are gathered. In our community, we are many different people; we come from many different places, have many different cultures. Open our hearts that we may be bold in finding the riches of inclusion and the treasures of diversity among us. We pray in faith.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., https://www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/prayer-index/prayers-for-racial-justice-and-reconciliation.

AUGUST 3, 2021

Love incarnate,
Fountain of Mercy and Justice
In a world of inequity and pain
May our actions be our prayer.
We cry out for Shalom, fullness of life to all.
Let the Spirit of Truth guide us.
Let the Spirit of Love free us.
Give us the compassion, courage and resolve
to become the light, we seek
that many may see life and their dignity restored
Inspire us to embody a world without injustice and prejudice
Form us into channels of your love and peace
Let the river of justice and mercy flood our imperfect world
Quenching the thirst of parched souls and lands.
Abide in us o Liberator that we become the Word
so that the world may have Life, Life in all its abundance.

Anderson Jeremiah, a member of The Archbishops’ Anti-Racism Taskforce, Church of England, https://www.churchofengland.org/news-and-media/stories-and-features/prayer-racial-justice-sunday-2021.

AUGUST 4, 2021

Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free

Silently now I wait for thee
Ready, my God, thy will to see
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!

"Open My Eyes, That I May See" by Clara Scott, 1895, The United Methodist Hymnal, 454

Whatever my words, God of difficult truths, the reality is I prefer to keep my eyes closed. Seeing truth is painful, and I’ll go a long way to avoid any pain. Yet I know I must; we must open our eyes to see the truth that surrounds us, the truth of oppression, the truth of abuse, the truth of division and hatred and fear that is tearing our nation and our world apart. Open my eyes, even when I resist.

We claim we want freedom; we value freedom; we venerate freedom in our nation. Yet we will not be free until we face difficult truths about who we are – who we have been and who we continue to be because we won’t acknowledge those truths. So, give us that key, Lord, that we might loosen the chains that have bound us all and be set free. Free to move toward a beloved community, toward a kin-dom of truth that Christ described for us. Open my eyes. In the name of the one who is the truth. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, July 2021

AUGUST 5, 2021

O God,
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.

Words of Assurance

Hear the good news: God’s gift of grace in Jesus Christ forgives us and sets us free to live full human lives in community. We may go forth confident of the grace to see with new eyes beyond racial prejudice; to imagine with renewed fervor justice and mercy for all, and to create with a new will a community where all are given access to God’s abundant life.

Thanks be to God!

Rev. Susan A. Blain, Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation, Worship and Education Ministry Team, Local Church Ministries, for Racial Justice Sunday, 2008, UCC, https://www.ucc.org/worship-way/worship_worship-ways_year-c_le_lent-prayer-of-confession/.

AUGUST 6, 2021

Lord, turn me inside out,
so people can see
the You in me
with the same shape heart,
the same color of blood
and one word in our flesh
that makes us like You
revealing the image of God
in our coats of many colors.
Lord, I love from the inside
what I see on the outside
so may we love what we see
and be loved for who we are:
Brothers and sisters,
united from inside out
to turn the world upside down!

Richard Becher, Resources from United Reformed Church, UK, Racial Justice Sunday, https://ctbi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Racial-Justice-Sunday-2021-URC.pdf, 6

AUGUST 9, 2021

Father of the Heavenly Lights, you brought us to life by your Word of truth. We were made in your image, sons and daughters of all colors.

The cancerous wickedness of racism has caused your children to suffer. Prejudice, discrimination, and hatred have led to brokenness, violence, and even death.

We confess that we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have allowed the sin of racism to divide us in what we have done and what we have not done; what we have said and what we have not said.

Purify our hearts and tame our tongues, we pray; Give us courage to repent, to fight for righteousness, and to love and embrace one another… In the name of Jesus, Our Lord… Amen.

Rev Rhea Summit, Pastor, New Alexandria United Methodist Church of the USA, cited in Prayers and Reflections on Racial Justice (compiled June 2020), the Diocese of Derby, UK, pdf, page 9

AUGUST 10, 2021

God of Justice. Open the eyes of those who wield power to the destructiveness of racism. Let justice roll like a river and move us to repentance and transformation. Convict the hearts of leaders in government, businesses, charities and the church, towards your kingdom values. May righteousness flow like a mighty stream.

God of Justice, hear our prayer.

Christ who lived under occupation. Help us identify and change the systems and power structures in our countries that perpetuate racial inequality. Teach us to transform into societies that uphold the dignity of each person, made in your image. Where we need to be stirred, wake us up to take our part in praying, speaking up, and taking action.

Christ who lived under occupation, hear our prayer.

Spirit of God, our breath in this World. Let this moment in history bring about everlasting change to violence and discrimination based on the color of someone’s skin. Breathe newness into our lands, our systems, our structures, our ways of living with one another.

Spirit of God, our breath in this world, hear our prayer.

God of Restored Relationships, to whom we all belong. Bring healing to all those that are suffering and have endured the pain caused by racial injustice. Restore broken relationships, bring peace; your peace and wholeness to all people in all places.

God of Restored Relationships, to whom we all belong, hear our prayer.

Tearfund, USA, A Prayer for Racial Justice, August 21, 2020, https://www.tearfundusa.org/a-prayer-for-racial-justice.

AUGUST 11, 2021

I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Amos 5:21-24 NRSV

“Let Justice Rain” by The Many

The earth seems broken these days, God of all creation. Bone dry, wildfire-producing heat destroying acres of forest and reducing houses to ash sits next to torrential rain producing flash floods sweeping away homes and lives before we can blink our frightened eyes. The voices that cry for radical change are still unheard by those who fear losing their privilege, a diminishment of their comfortable way of life.

Human community seems broken these days, God of every nation. Underlying structures designed to keep some down while elevating others sit next to roiling anger and fear of change causing deep hatreds to come boiling out with demeaning and deadly effect. The voices that cry for the radical change of justice are still unheard by those who fear losing their privilege, a diminishment of their sense of superiority.

It’s time to let the fires burn and the rains fall, God of justice and righteousness. It’s time for the truth to be faced and history to be acknowledged. Your prophet Amos declared that our continuing to worship in the face of injustice is hateful to you. Open our ears to the cries of the broken; open our eyes to the devastation our way of life brings to this earth; open our hearts to the need to change how we live and how we love. And let justice rain. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, July 2021

AUGUST 12, 2021

In the face of a stranger… In the cry of a child… In the dreams of an asylum seeker… In the hopes of an economic migrant… Jesus stands before us. How will we know him if we never say hello?

In the house next door… In the shop on the corner… In the place dedicated to God that we walk past to get here… In the high street or community hall or the intersections we navigate every day… Our neighbors live and move and have their being. How will we know them if we never say hello?

Radical hospitality… Finding ways to welcome that are more than words… Breaking down barriers and building bridges. Loving our neighbors as we love ourselves… That is what we are called to do. How can we do that if we do not even say hello? God, your love has no bounds; help us to live your way. Amen.

Church of Scotland, cited in Prayers and Reflections on Racial Justice (compiled June 2020), the Diocese of Derby, UK, pdf, page 10.

AUGUST 13, 2021

O God,
you created all people in your image.
We thank you for the astonishing variety
of races and cultures in this world.
Enrich our lives by ever-widening circles of friendship,
and show us your presence
in those who differ most from us,
until our knowledge of your love is made perfect
in our love for all your children;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lutheran Book of Worship: Minister’s Desk Edition (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1978), https://www.faithward.org/prayers-for-racial-harmony.

AUGUST 16, 2021


We are burdened and heartbroken by the violence and injustice in our world against the Black Community. As Christians, we are called to seek justice. To help those who are oppressed and hurting. To treat everyone with respect and dignity. Move us to follow your commands, Lord. Let us not merely say that we love each other. Help us be part of the solution. Give us the strength to mourn with those who have lost loved ones, to weep with those who are hurting. We pray that {we} all . . . take every opportunity presented to us by our loving God and respond in love. And compassion. And mercy. And grace. And justice. Always listening, learning and praying and giving, and serving.

In Christ, we pray.

The Generosity Trust, Chattanooga, TN, https://www.thegenerositytrust.org/prayer-for-racial-justice.

AUGUST 17, 2021

Lord, I ask you to give empathy and understanding to those seeking education on racism to become agents of righteous change. Grant your church humility to have honest conversations about race, building bridges with those of different ethnic backgrounds toward a unified message of justice pointing to the gospel. Enable all forms of government, community, and sectors of society to engage in loving discourse that honors all people in bringing social justice. May conversations lead to Spirit-led actions that transform communities and shift our national discourse.

Prayers That Destroy the Spirit of Racism: A Prayer Guide for Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation (American Bible Society, 2020), page 4, https://news.americanbible.org/uploads/publication/2020-07_Prayer-Racial-Healing-Prayer-Guide-Edit+Design-Request_346712_v1_ck_(1).pdf.

AUGUST 18, 2021

Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, 'Grant me justice against my opponent.' For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, 'Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.'" And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"

Luke 18:1-8 NRSV

I would have given up, God who sometimes seems deaf to our pleas. I would have prayed first; it is how I’ve been taught; it is my practice or my habit. Yes, I would have prayed first. But soon I would have given up. “You can only hit your head on a wall for so long,” I’ve been known to say. I would have given up.

And frankly, you don’t come out too well in this parable either, Lord. I know, it is a parable of contrast and not comparison, but still. Your definition of quickly and mine don’t always match. That last line troubles me too. Like it is all a test. Like if I don’t show faith, keep praying, then you won’t act. That somehow your justice is dependent on my prayers. That doesn’t seem right, doesn’t seem like you to be honest.

Unless . . . He didn’t say, “Will I find you praying?” He said, “Will I find faith?” Will I find you marching your prayers, shouting your prayers, carrying signs for your prayers? Will I find you living your prayers, bringing change with your prayers, naming racism in all its forms with your prayers? Will I find you believing in justice, even when justice cannot yet be seen, because that takes faith?

Our knuckles are bloody; our knees are scraped raw, but still we pray, still we knock, still we believe in justice for all. We won’t give up. We won’t, because of faith in your justice. Come quickly, Lord. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, August 2021

AUGUST 19, 2021

God of mercy and compassion, we bring forth into your presence all the
communities that are experiencing segregation, discrimination and oppression
based on caste, class, creed, color and gender both in the church and the
society. It is your death on the cross that has put an end to all enmity by
breaking down the walls that separate us. We ask you to empower us, O Lord,
to tear down the fences of hatred and indifference. Liberate us from the bonds
of pride and self-seeking. Enable and strengthen us to overcome our
prejudices and fears. Grant us your courage to open ourselves to others, so
that we may continue to live in solidarity with the oppressed communities.

National Council of Churches in India, “Dalit Liberation Sunday 2009,” Suggested Prayers for Racial Justice Sunday, 2010, page 2, https://ctbi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/RJS-2010-Prayer-suggestions.pdf.

AUGUST 20, 2021

Lord Jesus Christ,
in your ministry
you were approached by people
of many different nations and cultures.
You listened to their cry for help,
treated them with love and compassion,
and brought them healing and wholeness.

In our own time may we provide
to all those who are suffer
the help that they need
and the care that they require.

May we respond to the invitation of the Holy Spirit
to dream of a world made new
where the poor are not forgotten
but are given the opportunity
to live and flourish
with good health and equal prospects.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.


Prayer from Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales for Racial Justice Sunday 2021, https://cafod.org.uk/Pray/Prayer-resources/Prayers-for-racial-justice.

AUGUST 23, 2021

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 marginalization 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 recognize in reverence your divine image and likeness in our neighbor,

And find joy in the resemblance.

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

“A Prayer for Racial Justice Sunday,” Rt. Rev. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/news/news-and-statements/prayer-racial-justice-sunday.

AUGUST 24, 2021

DEAR LORD, rescue us from the injustice we suffer and from the injustice we inflict. Clear our minds of all negative thoughts, free from all racial injustice that may cause us bondage.

Please Lord, break every chain. Help us to all live in peace and see each other as equals as well as brothers and sisters in Christ.


Dominique Wilson-Porter, in “Help us, O God: Prayers for Racial Justice” from the Holston Conference of the UMC, April 11, 2021, https://www.holston.org/story/prayer-15197943.

AUGUST 25, 2021

Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. - Eph. 5:15-16 NRSV

Are the days evil, God of the just and the unjust? Is that the problem? That there is just too much evil, too much broken, too much hatred? And if so, what is the source of this evil? Is there a devil upon which we can place the blame? And how do we make the most of evil times? That seems a work fraught with frustration. What are we supposed to do in these evil days?

You call for wisdom, but wisdom escapes us. You call for loving, but loving is too hard for us. You call for unity, for being of one heart and one mind, but division seems easier—or more profitable—for us. You ask us to see a brother in the face of a stranger, a sister in a different skin, and we cling to those who are like us.

We can’t help but wonder, “Are we the source of the evil of these days?” Are they just a collection, the sum of all the evil in each of our hearts? The result of too much living as unwise rather than wise? Is this call not for avoidance but for transformation? Can we, even now, make the most of the time and tear down the walls and change the structures that oppress and bring justice where there is only suffering? Can we? Must we? Will we?

Derek C. Weber, August 2021

AUGUST 26, 2021

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.

Praying for Racial Justice, St. George’s Church, Barcelona, Spain, 2016, https://st-georges-church.com/praying-for-racial-justice.

AUGUST 27, 2021

Most merciful God,

We confess that we are mired in sin and cannot get free on our own. We have judged others based on skin color, sex, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, ability, financial and social status. We have preferred the ease and simplicity of placing others into boxes to the complexity of getting to know one another as siblings. We have contributed to and often benefited from systems that maintain the power of a privileged few. We have remained silent in the face of racism, sexism, heterosexism, transphobia, ableism and other forms of prejudice. Through both our action and inaction, war, poverty and environmental degradation continue on massive scales. We have ignored your prophets and turned from your command to put you first and neighbor second. We have permitted the ends for which we live to become confused with the means by which we live. Forgive our ignorance. Forgive our weakness. Forgive our sin. May your love overwhelm us, your peace disturb us and your spirit move us so that we cannot help but do your will at all times and in all places, always glorifying your name.


Rev. Elizabeth Rawlings, Disrupt Worship Project, https://www.disruptworshipproject.com/confession-of-complicity-in-injustice.

AUGUST 30, 2021

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.

“Bible Readings and Prayers to End Racism,” Augustinian Secretariate for Justice and Peace and midwestaugustinians.org, https://static1.squarespace.com/static/50e5979fe4b0d83d9231662c/t/58c3181dbf629a85334f8694/1489180701327/justpaxracepray.pdf, page 2. Used with permission.

AUGUST 31, 2021

Merciful God,
we confess we are quick to anger, anxious to be heard, and
slow to listen.

We confess our favoritism towards those who look and think as we do,
our biases towards those who act in the ways we deem appropriate.

The spirit of judgement we extend to those who do not meet our standards
has replaced the spirit of mercy and compassion to which we are called.

Forgive us, Loving God.

Ground us in the fullness of your perfect love for us,
that we may turn from contentiousness and bickering,
choosing, instead, acts of kindness, justice, and compassion
to realize your kin-dom on earth, as it is in heaven.


Sarah McCain, West End UMC, Worship Bulletin, August 22, 2021, http://www.westendumc.org/files/uploads/WEUMC2021-08-22bulletin845.pdf.


“You mad, Bro?” Forgive the overfamiliarity. Forgive the feeble attempt at humor in a not at all humorous moment. But that’s a phrase we hear today. “You mad, bro?” It’s a testing of the waters, a tentative reach out to check the temperature, a flag of surrender with a smile: “You mad, bro?”

I ask because it seems like you are, mad that is. Mad at all of us, mad at how we’ve abused this planet and its resources. Mad enough to unleash hurricanes with floods and droughts with fires at the same time. Mad at our neglect of your creation. It seems like you’re mad at us.

Are you mad about how we treat brothers and sisters both here and afar? Mad about our dismissal of those unlike us, those we view as less than us? Are you mad that we waged a war for twenty years and now leave a mess that seems almost worse than what we found? That we are wanting to wash our hands of what we’ve done to the brown people over there without being willing to care for those we hurt because our people come first? It seems like you’re mad at us.

Or does the question itself mean we want to shift the blame onto you, rather than realizing we are reaping the whirlwind we created, we are toiling in the vineyards we planted? And that it is not your anger but ours that is compounding our sin, building the walls, drawing the lines. And it isn’t your wrath we should fear but your tears that shame us because we just can’t learn to love like you died to show us. Maybe we’re the mad ones.

Christ, have mercy. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, August 2021


“O God of all nations and peoples: We live in a nation of immigrants, and one in which the diverse gifts of many peoples have contributed to our energy and strength. Yet it is one in which some immigrants are discriminated against because of the color of their skin, their language, or the country of their origin. Help us, by your grace, to offer hospitality to all strangers, as our Father Abraham did in the desert. Grant us the wisdom and skill to enact just and merciful immigration reforms so that the hospitality and access to this great land may be offered equally to people of all colors and races and nations.”


From “A Year of Prayers to End Racism,” The Diocesan Commission to End Racism, Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia, http://www.wvdiocese.org/pages/pdfs/ayearofprayertoendracism.pdf, page 3.


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


Yes, God, we are guilty. We are guilty of placing limits on the power of the Holy Spirit.

Forgive us, we pray!

If we, the church, were placed on trial today, our rap sheet will be a mile long.

Forgive us, we pray!

We have excluded intentionally and unintentionally the least of these, the outsiders, the backsliders, the young adults who don't look like us, those who suffer from addiction, and those who suffer from mental illness.


We worship our temples and focus our attention on internal ministry, while our community is slowly dying around us.


When crisis arises, we offer up dry prayers, dry praises, and empty promises.


Father God, we are convicted by our neglect and inaction. When the Spirit cried out, we ignored him. God, we ask that you give us a heavenly pardon. Sentence us to serve the people we are called to help. Strengthen our resolve and help us to allow your Spirit to move through us. From this day forward, we will uphold your laws of sharing hope and salvation with all humankind.


Stephon Carlisle Void, 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/fifteenth-sunday-after-pentecost-year-b-lectionary-planning-notes/fifteenth-sunday-after-pentecost-year-b-additional-liturgical-resources.


We pray for healing in this country. Heal the racial wounds that are still sensitive to the touch. Eliminate the offense that we hold in our hearts. Heal our broken hearts. Quench our anger with your love. Quench the irritation with your patience and peace. Heal our broken souls with forgiveness.

Show us how to extend your forgiveness towards others. Bless our country with your overflowing love that is infectious to all. Fill our hearts with love.

Excerpted from A Prayer for Race Relations, by Dionya Kelley, Christ Fellowship member, https://christfellowshipcc.org/prayer-for-race-relations/.


But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. - Ephesians 2:13-14 NRSV

Why is it, God who calls us all, that I always think I’m the one who is near and they—whoever they might be at the time—are the ones who are far? Why is it that when I consider what divides us, I blame someone else for building that wall; I am sure the hostility comes from outside of me?

Open my eyes, Lord, to see how I contribute to the division that defines us.

Open my mind, Lord, to understand how I keep the other at arm’s length without knowing it.

Open my heart, Lord, to begin to overcome the hostility that has become second nature to me, whether I call it self-preservation or fear or doubt or pride.

Tear down the walls, Lord, even the ones I keep building myself. So that I can join the beloved community you are creating among us, so that I can dwell in the kin-dom that is coming.

Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer, make us one, even as you are one. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, August 2021


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, posted by Transforming Center, https://transformingcenter.org/2016/07/prayer-lament-breathe/.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2021

Dear Lord,

Help me to open my heart to understanding the movement of people who live on the margins, the bruised and vulnerable. When they speak, help me hear them. When they tell the truth, remind me of your deeds of power, that I can hear their voices and not be dismissive. Touch my heart that I hear the good news and can move from my current attachments today to the world that you intended for me, even if it costs something. I pray for the strength to move forward, practicing the principle, “justice is what love looks like in public” *, which our Savior Jesus Christ demonstrated with his life. Help me live this out by joining together in my church and advocating for just government policies and programs that make a difference for the most bruised and vulnerable here and across the world.


A prayer to transform our hearts for justice, submitted by Bobbi D. from California, to World Vision Advocacy, https://www.worldvisionadvocacy.org/2020/07/17/4-prayers-for-reconciliation-in-our-nation/.

*Quote is from Rev. Dr. Cornell West, African-American theologian

SEPTEMBER 13, 2021

ONE: Loving Creator of the World, we your church have often failed to recognize and celebrate the gifts, talents, leadership, strength, and holiness of women of color.

MANY: Forgive us, dear God, and free us to commemorate and thank them.

ONE: Earth-walking Jesus, you listened to pushed-aside women, worked miracles with and through ignored women, and called into your ministry those anointed, precious women whom the world cast aside.

Even in this moment, you’re teaching us and calling us higher, through and with Black, Brown, Red, and Golden women.

MANY: Your grace is great, and your expectations of us are clear. Forgive us, dear God. Free us to learn from our sisters and follow their example.

ONE: Holy Spirit who forever abides, you have given all of your children the power, courage, and wisdom to build a church and society free from racism, sexism, and injustice of any kind.

And you walk with people of all races, creeds, and circumstances showing us the way.

MANY: Will we accept your invitation to walk into a new life of justice and equity, and a new life of Spirit and Truth?

ONE: Our sisters of color in this community and across the world show us that a better world is possible if we can learn to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with you, dear God.

MANY: Bless their lives, dear God. Forgive us for failing to know and love and listen to them. We are ready to repent, heal, and repair. AMEN.

“A Litany of Thanks for Women of Color Leaders,” United Methodist General Commission on Religion and Race, in Response: The Magazine of Women in Mission, United Methodist Women, September/October 2021, Volume 53, No. 5, 46.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2021

Wisdom, we hear your cries when we turn on the television and see our loved ones being struck down due to peaceful protest. We hear your cries when we read about those who hate us being protected during their violent ventures. We hear your cries when our social media notifications are going off because another one of us is lying dead in the streets. But do we listen? How long are we going to lend a non-listening ear to you? We carry around the ideology that “as long as it’s not happening to me” . . . but what happens when it does happen to us? All of us are affected by the daunting acts of those who hate us because we are beautifully and wonderfully made. We profess to be “woke,” but we act like we are sleepwalking. Many of us are talking in our sleep, carrying on conversations with the characters in our dreams like it is reality. I know that it sounds discouraging, but as we gather here, we ask that you, Wisdom, never stop crying out. The more you cry, the better our chances are of waking up. Keep on crying for that father who doesn’t know which way to turn. Keep on crying for that mother who is on the verge of giving up. Keep on crying until the alarm goes off in the bedroom of our souls and we stand as an army . . . awakened by you, never to slumber again. Amen.

Curry F. Butler, Wisdom, “We Hear You, A Gathering Meditation for Proverbs 1:20-33,” 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/sixteenth-sunday-after-pentecost-year-b-lectionary-planning-notes/sixteenth-sunday-after-pentecost-year-b-additional-liturgical-resources.

SEPTEMBER 15, 2021

See, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too hard for me? - Jeremiah 32:27 NRSV

Certainly not, God of all flesh, we do not doubt that anything is too hard for you. That’s not the question I bring to you today. The question I have, no, the confession I bring, is that there is much that is too hard for me. For us. Especially when it comes to that flesh thing.

We are having trouble with flesh. With recognizing the all-ness of our flesh. We don’t see flesh the way you see flesh, apparently. We see my flesh and his flesh and her flesh; and we compare and we contrast and we accept and reject all too easily and all too often. Based on flesh. On the hue and texture of flesh. It sounds ludicrous, I know, but we’ve done it for a while now. We’ve invented all sorts of imaginary differences based on what we think those tiny differences represent. We’ve created this thing called race as a way of keeping separate, of dividing up, of measuring worth. We’ve done this. In the face of the all-ness of flesh, we’ve made an “us” and a “them.” And we can’t seem to undo it.

It’s too hard for us. That’s my confession today. So, I’ve come to the God of all flesh and I’m asking one more time: can you put us back together again?

Christ, have mercy. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, September 2021

SEPTEMBER 16, 2021


All peoples have their origin in you and it is your will to gather them as one family in yourself. Fill the hearts of all people with your love and the desire to ensure justice for all their brothers and sisters. By sharing the good things of the earth, may we secure justice and equality for every human being, an end to all division, and a human society built on love and peace. We make this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen

“A Prayer for Human Rights,” https://www.ncc.brent.sch.uk/attachments/download.asp?file=566&type=pdf#:~:text=Fill%20the%20hearts%20of%20all,built%20on%20love%20and%20peace.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2021

Dear God,

We pray for all those in our world suffering from racism, sexism and religious discrimination.

For the individuals who are silenced for expressing their beliefs.

For the people who feel marginalized within society.

Please help them remain positive despite physical and psychological strife.

Help them to forgive those who persecute them or who fail to treat them with respect.

Forgive us, Lord, if we consciously or unconsciously share in the conditions or in a system that perpetuates injustice.

Please enlighten all Your disciples that discrimination does not only come in the form of lowering others but it demonstrates itself in the process of granting of privileges to select groups of people as well.

Guide lawmakers and those at the head of government make decisions that grant all individuals equal status under the law.


“Prayer for Equality,” By Kira Kowalczyk, 2015, https://br.hwcdsb.ca/ourfaith/schoolprayer/?fileID=128276.

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.

SEPTEMBER 21, 2021

Father God,

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 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 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 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 27, 2021

We praise you, O God, for though you do as you please, your pleasure is justice with compassion. We worship you, O God, for though you choose your servants as you wish, you elect people who are called to serve all in obedience to you. We are awed by the powers of nature but assured that there is no force or being that can overpower you. We are most grateful that you make yourself known to us through the healing and saving power of Jesus Christ, our Leader and Friend. Amen.

B. David Hostetter, Prayers for the Seasons of God’s People: Worship Aids for the Revised Common Lectionary Year B (Abingdon, 1999), 187-188. https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/worship-planning/doers-of-the-word/eighteenth-sunday-after-pentecost-year-b-lectionary-planning-notes/eighteenth-sunday-after-pentecost-year-b-liturgical-resources.

SEPTEMBER 28, 2021

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” by Jo Cecilio, Grotto, https://grottonetwork.com/keep-the-faith/prayer/prayer-against-racism.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2021

We used to dream, God of promise and hope, of a world your prophets glimpsed, where there was no room for violence, where justice would be the way of living, where the rich tapestry of human creation would be celebrated and expected, and where we would live in harmony with all that is. We used to believe that such a world was possible, was within reach, just over the next horizon.

But the horizons stretched out so far, and the fears seemed so much closer, so much more real. So we drew our lines and locked our doors; we became more comfortable with those who looked like us, who believed like us. We grew suspicious of the other, the stranger. We quit trying to understand and began to accuse and to blame. And fear.

Was it your dream that we began to fear? Or was it our inability to make it real in our world right now? Either way, we need the strength to dream again. We need the courage to see what you see, to trust what you gave, to listen to those who sound different from us. We need each other. We’re not making it on our own, divided up. We need to reach for the horizon again. Your horizon, your hope, your kin-dom. We need to dream again. And then work to live into that dream each and every day. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, September 2021

SEPTEMBER 30, 2021

We pray to you, almighty God, in this time of conflict. You are our refuge and our strength, a very present help in time of trouble. Do not let us fail in the face of these events. Uphold us with your love and give us the strength we need. Help us in our confusion and guide our action. Heal the hurt, console the bereaved and afflicted, protect the innocent and helpless, and deliver any who are still in peril, for the sake of your great mercy in Jesus Christ our Lord.


ELCA, from A Service of Repentance and Mourning, http://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Service_of_Repentance_and_Mourning.pdf, page 2.

OCTOBER 1, 2021

Good and gracious God, Who loves and delights in all people, we stand in awe before You, knowing that the spark of life within each person on earth is the spark of your divine life.

Differences among cultures and races are multicolored manifestations of Your Light. May our hearts and minds be open to celebrate similarities and differences among our sisters and brothers. We place our hopes for racial harmony in our committed action and in Your Presence in our Neighbor. May all peoples live in Peace.


Sisters of Mercy, https://www.sistersofmercy.org/resource/prayer-the-elimination-of-racism/.

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