Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism (October-December 2021)
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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/.
OCTOBER 4, 2021
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.
OCTOBER 5, 2021
AN AFFIRMATION OF FAITH
That God has revealed God’s self as the one who wishes to bring about
justice and true peace among people;
That God, in a world full of injustice and enmity,
is in a special way the God of the destitute, the poor and the wronged.
That God calls the church to follow God in this;
for God brings justice to the oppressed and gives bread to the hungry;
That God wishes to teach the church to do what is good and to seek the right;
that the church must therefore stand by people in any form of suffering and need,
which implies, among other things, that the church must witness against and strive against
any form of injustice, so that justice may roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream;
That the church as the possession of God must stand where the Lord stands,
namely against injustice and with the wronged;
That in following Christ the church must witness against all the powerful and privileged who
selfishly seek their own interests and thus control and harm others. AMEN.
The Belhar Confession, as a part of “Prayer Vigil for Racial Healing,” A Collaboration between St. Andrew’s Church and Church of the Covenant, https://standrewsarlington.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Prayers-for-Racial-Healing.pdf, 2.
OCTOBER 6, 2021
Oh, deep in my heart
I do believe
We shall overcome some day
If I’m honest, God of truth and possibilities, when I examine the depths of my heart, I’m afraid that what I see is doubt. I used to believe. With a fire of gospel passion, God of promise, I believed that all manner of things would be well. I believed that your kin-dom would win out over the petty divisions and hatreds and egos of this world. I believed that your vision of creation, where war was studied no more, and neighbor shall not lift up sword against neighbor, where nations would stream together to be taught to live and to love, and to rejoice in that teaching. I believed with my whole heart and soul and lived in the confidence of that belief.
Lord, I believed; help my unbelief. I still want to believe, deep in my heart that we, that you, that the kin-dom will overcome some day. But it is hard. In our attention-deficit culture, we’ve moved on from the things that are broken, moved on from the divisions that cause death and despair. We’ve moved on and no longer see the problem that is right in front of our face, as evident as our own skin. It is hard to believe that anything will ever change because change is hard and resisted every inch of the way.
I want to believe again; help my unbelief. Help me hold on to your kin-dom, to peace and reconciliation, to justice and reparations; help me believe, even when—especially when—change seems a long time coming. Patient God, help my unbelief. In the name of the one who walked in our skin, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
Derek C. Weber, September 2021
OCTOBER 7, 2021
O Loving God, We give you thanks for creating the world which is full of diversity and for making one human family of all the peoples of the earth. You reign over all the nations and are seated on your holy throne. You rule over all the peoples without partiality in respect to nations or races because righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Forgive us for the times when we put walls around us with false pride and racial prejudice. Forgive us for the times when we were silent in the face of racism, private or institutional. Open our eyes to see Christ who is in people of every nation and culture. Break down the walls that separate us. Set us free from fear, hatred, and racism. Bind us together with the unity of God’s love. Restore oneness to the family of God. We pray in the name of Jesus who came, lived, and died for all humanity. Amen.
A Daily Prayer for Racial Justice and Reconciliation from Tabernacle United Methodist Church, Fredericksburg, VA, https://tabumc.org/data/files/Prayer%20for%20reconciliation.pdf.
OCTOBER 8, 2021
Open our eyes to read the signs of the times.
Open our ears to hear the voices of the poor and oppressed;
the voices of our Black siblings who are enduring the violence and dehumanization
of white supremacy and white privilege in our communities and in our institutions.
Open our hearts that we might see anew and work together
for a new way of being church.
We ask this in the name of Jesus
and the communion of Black saints who are with us and who have gone before us,
that we, your church, might be transformed. AMEN.
From “Witnessing for Racial Justice Prayer Service,” a part of “Women Witnesses for Racial Justice: Sister Antona Ebo,” Future Church, Cleveland, OH, https://www.futurechurch.org/women-witnesses-for-racial-justice-downloads (page 9).