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Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism (October-December 2021)

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


We believe
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

“We Shall Overcome” Chorus, traditional gospel song.

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).

OCTOBER 11, 2021

God, our Mother,
You placed in us a desire for connection, for welcome, for inclusion.
You gave us a longing for home, a true home, a true family.
Yet there is within us a capacity to exclude, to push away.
You have made us a tapestry, weaving together, enhancing the whole.
Yet, we create division, sameness, drawing lines.
We find some strange security by seeing others as less than, worse than.
Help us, Mothering God, guide us.
We feel a long way from home.
Help us find our way home.
Home to you. Home to each other.
Home in the kin-dom you desire for all your children.
We make this prayer in the name of Christ Jesus,


From Future Church, Women Witnesses for Racial Justice Downloads, Anna “Madre Bates, https://www.futurechurch.org/node/1733/done?sid=38136&token=53f117a319a9153b5b5706d70deded75, 13.

OCTOBER 12, 2021

Gracious God,
we confess that the circle of love is repeatedly broken
because of our sin of exclusion.
We create separate circles: the inner circle and the outer circle,
the circle of power and the circle of despair,
the circle of privilege and the circle of deprivation.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive all who have sinned against us.
We confess that the circle is broken whenever there is alienation,
whenever there is misunderstanding,
whenever there is insensitivity or a hardening of the heart.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive all who have sinned against us.
We confess that the circle of love is broken whenever we cannot see
eye to eye, whenever we cannot link hand to hand,
whenever we cannot live heart to heart and affirm our differences.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive all who have sinned against us,
in the name of Christ, whose love unites us. Amen.

Prayer of Confession is adapted from a prayer by Miriam Therese Winter in The United Methodist Book of Worship, by West End UMC, Nashville, TN, September 26, 2021.

OCTOBER 13, 2021

We’ve come to confess, God of immeasurable grace. We’ve come to admit, after a careful consideration of history, after an examination of past behaviors, practices, and policies, that we are apparently accident-prone. That has to be the explanation for the decades of unintended consequences of what seemed like a good idea at the time. We put our needed interstate highways through prosperous neighborhoods of color and effectively destroyed the economy and the well-being of those families. We drew redlines on maps, trying to create “good communities” by helping some people find resources to buy and to build; unfortunately, others had to be denied because they didn’t fit the vision of what a “good community” looked like. We misread statistics and listened to irrational fears and allowed authorities to target certain groups for harsher treatment. We shifted resources of all sorts from one culture to another, one community to another, causing some to feel neglect and hunger in this land of plenty. We believed that old adage, “sticks and stones might break our bones,” and we let our words be hurled against those who were different, thinking we weren’t really causing hurt, weren’t really breaking the bones of people of color.

And so many other … accidents … of behavior and choice, that had we known we surely wouldn’t have done. Would we? Surely these things couldn’t have been intentional. Could they? We want to believe that we are, that we have built, that we sustain a great nation of good people. But the weight of our history and present practice seems to say something else. Lord, is it possible, even here and even now, for us, for you, for someone to let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream? Or was that an accident too?

Christ, have mercy. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, October 2021

OCTOBER 14, 2021

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. - Galatians 3.28

God of justice,
who rejoice in your creation
and the beauty of our diversity,
give us a passion to live well,
with respect for all,
with delight in difference,
with commitment to inclusion,
and with hope for our future
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Written by The Very Revd Andrew Nunn, Dean of Southwark, Racial Justice Sunday, 14 February 2021, https://southwark.anglican.org/news-events/news/latest-news/a-prayer-for-racial-justice-sunday/.

OCTOBER 15, 2021

Lord, as you have taught us,
we bow down before you in all humility, gentleness and patience,
supporting each other with love
and trying to keep the unity of the spirit by the bonds of peace,
that we may become “one body and one spirit,”
according to our common calling and vocation.
With one voice, repenting of our divisions,
we commit ourselves to working together
for reconciliation, peace, and justice,
and we stand together in imploring you:
help us to live as your disciples,
overcoming selfishness and arrogance, hatred and violence;
give us the strength to forgive.
Inspire our witness in the world,
that we might foster a culture of dialogue,
and be bearers of the hope which your gospel has implanted in us.
Make us instruments of your peace,
so that our homes and communities,
our parishes, churches, and nations might resonate more fully
with the peace you have long desired to bestow upon us. Amen.

Nolan Palsma, RCA member, from Justice and Reconciliation Prayer Service Order of Worship, By Rev. Sharon Atkins and Rev. Kelvin Spooner, Reformed Church of America, https://www.faithward.org/justice-and-reconciliation-prayer-service-order-of-worship/.

OCTOBER 18, 2021

We give you thanks, O God,
That you speak to us
in ways that often surprise.
And so we pause once more
to remind ourselves to listen for your voice
and to ask for your grace.

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 Future Church, Women Witnesses for Racial Justice Downloads, Mother Mary Lange, https://www.futurechurch.org/node/1733/done?sid=38136&token=53f117a319a9153b5b5706d70deded75, page 21.

OCTOBER 19, 2021

Almighty God, creator and upholder of all things, take from our hearts that hatred which judges others by the colour of their skin and condemns others for the class of their families, so that love may rule and justice prevail to the benefit of all; for Christ's sake. Amen.

Michael Saward, “Prayer About Discrimination,” for Jubilate: Words and Music for Worship, UK, https://www.jubilate.co.uk/liturgy/prayer_about_discrimination.

OCTOBER 20, 2021

Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, "Listen and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles." - Matthew 15:10-11 NRSV

Who are we, God who sees and knows? Who are we deep down? What are our fears and our doubts? How do we manage to fool ourselves into thinking we are better than we are? It happened again; someone did something offensive, something racist, something oppressive and then said, “That isn’t who I am! I don’t act like that; I don’t think like that,” when he/she just did. When the evidence is plain to everyone, certainly to the person he/she was haranguing, name-calling, threatening.

Who are we in our hearts where we think and plan and create the images of ourselves that we think we live by? Who are we when those images are threatened, when fear takes over and words come from somewhere and pour out of our mouths? Who are we, God, who promises to love us no matter what? Who are we?

Sinners in need of redeeming. Christ, have mercy. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, October 2021

OCTOBER 21, 2021

Messiah, Majestic King, Creator, Ruler of the land and everything that dwells within it. We praise Your holy name, for there is none like You in all the earth. You created us each uniquely in Your image and likeness, in all shapes and sizes and complexions. We pray with faith and belief, that You will heal the land of the infectious disease of racism that targets many even today.

Help us to not participate in any racial acts against our brothers. Clear our minds of all negative thoughts against them. Free them of any racial injustice that may cause them bondage, break every chain! Remove all separations of skin colour in our land. Help us all to live in peace and harmony with one another. Remind us that we are all created equally and we are all children of Your mighty kingdom. Help us to be meek and humble, for those are the ones who will inherit Your earth.

Negative energy and thoughts dealing with racism will not consume our minds. Purify our tongues to not speak ill against our brothers. All bitterness, resentment, hatred, prejudice, malice, jealousy and pride will flee, in Jesus’ name. We will experience Your unconditional love at this very moment and be able to spread it like a wildfire across the nation. Cleanse our minds, bodies and souls as we go out to represent You, Lord, in love’s purest form. In Jesus’ holy precious name we pray, Amen!

“Prayer Against Racism and Prejudice,” by Cheryce Rampersad, August 18, 2020, https://christianstt.com/prayer-against-racism-and-prejudice/.

OCTOBER 22, 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. Amen.

“A Prayer for Uplifting Human Dignity,” the Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team, https://37371.thankyou4caring.org/file/Prayer20Service20for20Racism.pdf.

OCTOBER 25, 2021

Today we’re called to walk together in a new way toward that Land of Promise and to celebrate who we are and whose we aren’t.

If we, as a Church, walk together – if we walk and talk and work and play and stand together in Jesus’ name – we’ll be who we say we are – truly Catholic and we shall overcome – overcome the poverty – overcome the loneliness – overcome the alienation and build together a Holy city, a new Jerusalem, a city set apart where they’ll know that we are here because we love one another.


From Future Church, Women Witnesses for Racial Justice Downloads, Sister Thea Bowman, https://www.futurechurch.org/sites/default/files/SISTER%20THEA%20BOWMAN%20REWORKED.pdf, 15.

OCTOBER 26, 2021

When our eyes do not see the gravity of racial injustice,
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 outward,
Help us to examine our own hearts, O Lord.

God of truth, in your wisdom, enlighten us.
God of love, in your mercy, forgive 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.


“Racism Prayers” from the Social Justice Resource Center, https://socialjusticeresourcecenter.org/prayers/racism/.

OCTOBER 27, 2021

The trial of those who took Ahmaud Arbery’s life has begun, God of righteousness. The nation waits; the world waits to see justice, if such a thing is even possible in this world as we have made it. Those accused will claim there is more to the story, more than three men with guns shooting a man out for a jog. More than white men in a truck ending the life of a black man in running shoes. There was also fear and suspicion; there was frustration and lack of faith in police or systems of justice. There were reasons, always reasons for the actions that were perpetrated on that February day in 2020. There is more to the story.

And that’s true, isn’t it? There is always more to the story. It’s a story that begins in Genesis, God of history and truth. It’s a story of sin, and jealousy, and hatred of brother, and it ends in blood and death. Ahmaud’s blood cries out from the ground, O Lord. The blood of so many, shed by hatred, shed by fear, shed by privilege. The blood cries out. Who is listening? Who will hear and respond? Is justice even possible in the world we have made? We pray for the possibility; we pray for the hurting; we pray for the angry; we pray for the fearful. We pray for change. In each of us, in all of us. We pray for hope. In the name of the one who shed blood. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, October 2021

OCTOBER 28, 2021

O Lord, you are a God of justice –
may we share your passion for justice,
which can be seen throughout the Bible.
By the power of your Holy Spirit
enable us to stand up for justice
and stand against intolerance.

Thank you that you love each person,
made in the image of God.
Change our hearts to see others as you do.
Allow our hearts to break over the sin of racism,
and our lament to turn into righteous action.


Churches Together in the British Isles’ Director of Inclusion Richard Reddie, and Churches Together in Europe’s Principal Officer for Pentecostal, Charismatic and Multi-cultural Relations Shermara Fletcher, https://www.ctcinfohub.org/daily-prayers-for-racial-justice-23-30-may/.

OCTOBER 29, 2021

Oh Lord,
Every protest, every picket and every petition has been a cry to you for justice
Every lament, every tear and every sigh has been a cry to you for justice

You are the God of justice. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
love and faithfulness go before you.” (Psalm 84:14)

Justice belongs to you.

Today we pray for willing hearts to partner with you in the pursuit of justice.

We pray not just for ears to listen or eyes to see, but for hands to work and minds to think to bring about change for the better. Let this be more than a moment. Let this be a movement for change.

Oh Lord, we commit this prayer, our promises, and our plans for justice into your hands.


Clare Williams, Founder of the Get Real Podcast, https://www.ctcinfohub.org/daily-prayers-for-racial-justice-23-30-may/.

NOVEMBER 1, 2021

Jesus, Son of David,
we confess that we want to be a church ever-reforming,
yet we cling to comfortable ways.
We want to honor your “still-speaking voice,”
yet we are fearful of insights that challenge old assumptions.
We want to live into your dream of unity
yet we fail to listen to voices of difference.
Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on us!
Have mercy on us and hear our prayers.

Adapted from a resource by Rev. Bonnie Tarwater on the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways website, https://www.ucc.org/worship-way/pentecost-22-october-24. Printed in worship bulletin for West End UMC, October 24, 2021.

NOVEMBER 2, 2021

Holy God,

We confess that we are guilty as individuals and as your church.

  • We have judged others by the color of their skin.
  • We have failed to speak out against prejudice.
  • We have been prejudiced ourselves.
  • We have quickly believed lies about one another.
  • We have seen the world through our own lenses and assume we know.
  • We have failed to defer to our brothers and sisters of other races, seeing us as We rather than they.
  • We have failed to seek understanding through conversations with one another.
  • We have failed to be gracious when we can’t understand.
  • We have been apathetic about injustice and prejudice in our land.
  • We have been quick to judge “guilty” without all the information.
  • We have believed a lie that we can do nothing to change things.
  • We are one and yet have failed to live that out.
  • Our churches do not reflect the beauty and diversity of your creation, and we have been complacent that it is so.

Forgive us, Holy God. We have sinned and fallen short of your glory. We know that the present situation grieves your heart. Use us as catalysts for reconciliation as we continually recognize our own sin before you and humbly seek your power and love to change us. Show us how to move forward toward racial unity as individuals and in our churches.

We desperately need you, Holy God. Do a work in us so the world sees it and believes that Jesus is real, just as he prayed: “That they would all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me.”

Adapted from the website Beyond Ordinary Women, https://beyondordinarywomen.org/prayer-for-racial-unity/.


If we ever needed the Lord before, we sure do need Him now,
Oh, we sure do need Him now, Lord, we sure do need Him now. (Oh glory)
If we ever needed the Lord before, we sure do need Him now, we need Him every day and every hour.
We need Him in the morning, we need Him in the night.
We need Him in the noonday when the sun is shining bright.
We need Him when we’re happy, we need Him when we’re sad.
We need Him when we’re burdened, just to make our hearts feel glad.

“If We Ever Needed the Lord Before,” by Thomas Dorsey, 1943

We sure do need you now, Lord. Sure do. Just like we’ve always needed you.

When we thought we could get along without you, we needed you to remind us of the grace you bring. When we thought you had abandoned us to our selfishness, to our tribalism, to our fears and our doubts, to our hates and our divisions, we needed you to lead us into pathways of peace and reconciliation. When we thought we could solve our problems all on our own, we needed you to empower us to do what is out of our reach. When we tried to deny that the problems and the brokenness exist, we needed you to call us to face the truth. When we retreat behind the walls of “not my problem,” we needed you to remind us of the unity of the human race.

We have always needed you, and we sure do need you now. Even now, Lord, even now. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, October 2021

NOVEMBER 4, 2021

Almighty God, as we gather in the worship of Christ, our Lord, and Savior, celebrating your redeeming love and grace, we acknowledge our human frailty and confess our inclinations to hide our sins from you. Today, we are acutely aware of that odious human sin of bias and prejudice, which has been bred into our culture and has seeped into the deep core of our most secret inner being denigrating and infecting our humanity like a lethal disease.

We confess our corporate and individual acts and conceiving of racism. May your Spirit prompt us to self-examination, confession, and sincere repentance to lead us toward a life worthily reflecting your love and grace. For our public servants, held to a higher degree of accountability in their service, grant them and us the faith to view redemptive change with joy and hope and to pursue vigorously new paths of right living and justice to all our neighbors. Amen.

By Rev. Charles Swadley, former associate minister, Williamsburg United Methodist Church, Virginia, https://www.virginiainterfaithcenter.org/prayers-for-the-commonwealth.

NOVEMBER 5, 2021

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.


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) cited in the download: Worship Resources End Racism Sunday.

NOVEMBER 15, 2021

God of unity, help us to appreciate our differences.
Help us not be color blind, but to appreciate and learn from
the great spectrum of languages, traditions and characteristics
that each race and ethic group celebrates in themselves.
Help us to build rather than tear down.
Help us to grow in the knowledge of others,
for such knowledge can only deepen our bond with You.
Give us the courage and the strength to risk
a word, a gesture, a hand
in fellowship with all people
in order to build an anti-racist church,
a church which stands against those who seek to divide,
a church which longs for union with You.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.

Archdiocese of Chicago’s Anti-Racism Implementation Team, A Toolkit for Antiracism Prayer Services, Archdiocese of Chicago, Office of Racial Justice, 2008, 31, http://www.ospihm.org/racial-healing/docs/Toolkit-for-Anti-Racism-Prayer-Services.pdf.

NOVEMBER 16, 2021

For your household with its blessed diversity of races and ethnicities,
We give thanks, O God.
For your presence with those who suffer the pain of oppression because of racism,
We pray, O God.
For the courage and commitment of those who challenge injustice,
We give thanks, O God.
For your forgiveness for our denial and apathy when we have cooperated with powers of dominance and discrimination,
We pray, O God.
For ears to hear stereotyping in church and community, and the courage to name it,
We pray, O God.
For eyes to see exclusion in our lives and churches and for resolve to confront it,
We pray, O God.
For minds to address what the conscience knows,
We pray, O God.
For hearts freed of cynicism and despair and renewed with hope,
We pray, O God.
For faith that acts on the certainty of your love for us and on your desire that we honor our differences and live in harmony,
We pray, O God.

We pray in fellowship with those from this time and beyond time who have witnessed to your call to community. We covenant with you and each other to be your instruments of justice and reconciliation in this time and in this place. In the name of Christ, who is loving, just, and forgiving, we offer our prayer. Amen.

Mary S. Webber, Dismantling Racism: The Task of the People of God Leaders Manual (St. Louis: January 1993); original, “Litany for Racial Justice” adapted by Ronice Branding, with permission. Taken from: Fulfilling the Dream, Ronice Branding, Chalice Press, 1995, in Seeing the Face of God in Each Other: The Antiracism Training Manual for the Episcopal Church, Diversity, Social, and Environmental Ministries Team, Mission Department of the Episcopal Church Center, 2011, 38. https://www.episcopalchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/02/antiracism_book-revise3.pdf.

NOVEMBER 17, 2021

Lord I don't feel no ways tired
Children Oh, glory Hallelujah!
For I hope to shout glory when this world is on fire,
Children Oh! glory Hallelujah.

I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired, African American Spiritual

How is that possible, God of the weary and the worn? How is it possible for a people pushed down, pushed aside, pushed away to not be tired? That seems beyond experience, beyond understanding.

Lord, give us a strong vision of that “better day a comin,” so that we too can continue to be the fire that lights the world with hope and with change, so that we too can continue to march for justice and equity. We confess we are too easily tired and distracted in this world to maintain our antiracism passion. So, wake us up again to that hallelujah morning.

In that name of the one who never grew tired of us, Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, November 2021

NOVEMBER 18, 2021

Gospel Reconstruction: A Lament for Slaveholder Religion and the Ongoing Racism That Infects Us

ONE: Jesus, we confess that we have inherited a faith that was used to justify the theft of native lands and the enslavement of Black bodies. From this, our original sin, we ask for deliverance.

ALL: Forgive us for where we have failed to understand, Lord, and in your mercy, set us free.

ONE: Touch hearts that have been shriveled by generations of suppressed empathy and eyes that have lost the ability to see siblings who suffer from systemic injustice.

ALL: Forgive us for where we have failed to understand, Lord, and in your mercy, set us free.

ONE: We give thanks that there is a river of witnesses that flows from Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass to Ida B. Wells and Howard Thurman; from Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. to the prophetic leaders who guide us today. Give us grace to follow them to freedom.

ALL: Forgive us for where we have failed to understand, Lord, and in your mercy, set us free. Amen.

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove with Britney Winn Lee, Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice (Fresh Air Books, 2020), https://upperroombooks.com/book/rally/.

NOVEMBER 19, 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, cited in Prayers and Reflections on Racial Justice (compiled June 2020), the Diocese of Derby, UK, 13, pdf, https://derby.anglican.org/en/our-mission/community-engagement/download/3407_5776d33c0f6c3234add51d79c44c250a.html.

NOVEMBER 22, 2021

Perfect Love Drives Out Fear: A Litany for Sifting Through the News and Social Media Headlines

ONE: We are told that God wants us to live in fear, to protect what we have, to hate the other, to believe lies as truth.

When falsehoods begin to overwhelm our spirits and we want to lash out or hide away,

ALL: God, give us the courage to believe that your perfect love is not driven by fear.

ONE: We are told that there is nothing we can do, that we are powerless, that things have always been this way, and that energy is wasted trying to speak words of truth to a litany of lies.

When we choose to avoid conflict because it’s easier, to waste our voice in spaces of influence, and to justify our privilege,

ALL: God, give us the fortitude to step into the fray and speak your perfect love into an imperfect space.

Bruce Reyes-Chow with Britney Winn Lee, Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice (Fresh Air Books, 2020), https://upperroombooks.com/book/rally/.

NOVEMBER 23, 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.


Taken from Christian Aid book Rage & Hope: 75 Prayers for a Better World, edited by Chine McDonald. Posted https://www.churchofengland.org/news-and-media/stories-and-features/prayer-racial-justice-sunday-2021.

NOVEMBER 24, 2021

A Benediction

And now may the Lord torment you.

May the Lord keep before you the faces of the hungry, the lonely, the rejected and the despised.

May the Lord afflict you with pain for the hurt, the wounded, the oppressed, the abused, the victims of violence.

May God grace you with agony, a burning thirst for justice and righteousness.

May the Lord give you courage and strength and compassion to make ours a better world, to make your community a better community, to make your church a better church.

And may you do your best to make it so, and after you have done your best, may the Lord grant you peace.

Benediction given by Bishop Woodie W. White at the 1996 General Conference, Denver Colorado.

NOVEMBER 25, 2021

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 NRSV

On this day of excess, O God of abundant blessings, let there be an excess of rejoicing. Let our joy be the genuine kind that flows from a deep appreciation for your presence in our multihued family, who we are learning to see as brother and sister and not stranger or enemy. Let there be an excess of prayer, as we seek to find healing for all the brokenness between us and around us, and let our prayers be made with hands and resources and not simply words. Let there be an excess of thanksgiving, as we acknowledge your abundance and begin to work on the injustice of distribution. Let us not quench the Spirit, but rather embrace the life that gives life, embrace the blessing that gives blessing, embrace the gift that is ours to give away.

On this day of excess, O God who pours out grace, may we give thanks for opportunities to love and then claim them and live them, each and every day. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, November 2021

NOVEMBER 26, 2021

Wake Me Up Lord

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 For The Love of One Another (1989), a special message from the Bishops' Committee on Black Catholics of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops on the Occasion of the Tenth Anniversary of the Pastoral Letter, Brothers and Sisters to Us, the U.S. Catholic Bishops' Pastoral Letter on Racism (1979). https://www.usccb.org/resources/prayer-service-racial-healing-our-land.

NOVEMBER 29, 2021

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 recognize 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. Neighbor or stranger, always our brother or sister.


Prayer by Yashoda Sutcliffe/CARJ (Catholic Association for Racial Justice), https://cafod.org.uk/Pray/Prayer-resources/Prayers-for-racial-justice.

NOVEMBER 30, 2021

Heavenly God, we praise your name and thank you for your glorious goodness and mercy.
Lord Jesus, we pray a blessing for all those actively engaged in the struggle for racial justice.
Holy Spirit, we beseech you to enter into the minds and hearts of all those in authority in the Church.
Grant that they may
ear the voices crying out for justice
ngage in developing a better understanding
Act to bring about change
ead and inspire others by their good example.
We ask this through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The love of God is greater than all evil.

We pray for racial justice:

  • in our lives
  • in our parishes
  • in our dioceses
  • in our land. Amen.

Betty Luckham (Catholic Association for Racial Justice), https://ctbi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/RJS-2010-Prayer-suggestions.pdf.

DECEMBER 1, 2021

World AIDS Day: The theme for the 2021 observance is “Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice,” https://www.hiv.gov/events/awareness-days/world-aids-day.

We seem beset with epidemics, Lord of healing and wholeness. The COVID-19 pandemic that won’t end easily and seems to have as many political effects as medical ones. The epidemic of racism, which exposes a sickness deeper than we choose to acknowledge. The epidemic of AIDS, which was once considered by some a plague sent against a few and now ravages continents and orphans innocents. The epidemic of climate change, which still seems to some to be a historical blip and not a human-made crisis.

Is it because we are so inward looking, seeking our individual well-being above all else, that we ignore these problems until they threaten to sweep us away? And then once the epidemics get so large, we throw up our hands and say, “There is nothing we can do; let’s pretend they aren’t real”? Is that why we seem to be teetering on the brink of disaster?

Open our eyes, Lord, motivate our hands, loosen our purse strings, and bind us together as one body in this common ark we call life that we might face what is hurting, heal what is broken, and bring justice to a world dying for its lack. Remind us that you have equipped us to work together for the good of all. As Jesus said that we may be one, even as the creator and redeemer are one. Let us learn to hope again. In Christ’s name. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, November 2021

DECEMBER 2, 2021

God of the Process: A Litany for When the World Feels Like It’s Burning

READER ONE: God who loves us in every season, our hearts ache as we consider our world. Amid sorrow and pain, we know you hold us and love us.

READER TWO: You hold us in confusion.
You hold us in grief.
You hold us in trauma.
You hold us in war.
You hold us in political unrest.
You hold us in disconnection.
Gracious Lord, you do not celebrate our pain but offer us deep love.

ALL: Compassionate God, you hold us.

READER ONE: Jesus, just as you wept with Mary and Martha outside of Lazarus’s tomb, thank you for grieving with us as we ache. You knew you would resurrect Lazarus yet shared in Mary and Martha’s grief. We know you share our grief as we witness a world that seems to be burning. Just as you ache with those who mourn, equip us to mourn with our neighbors. Help us to offer comfort and care to every one of your children.

READER TWO: Empower us to love well.
Empower us to see others in their pain.
Empower us to move past our differences.
Empower us to believe in your goodness.
Empower us to be who you’ve called us to be for ourselves and others.

ALL: Compassionate God, you hold us.

Aundi Kolber with Britney Winn Lee, Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice (Fresh Air Books, 2020), https://upperroombooks.com/book/rally/.

DECEMBER 3, 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.

The Right Reverend Justin Welby, The Archbishop of Canterbury, “A Prayer for Racial Justice Sunday,” 13/02/2021, https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/news/news-and-statements/prayer-racial-justice-sunday.

DECEMBER 6, 2021

This is my walking prayer.

Lord, may I walk toward your light and love. May I walk to carry others’ burdens the extra mile. May I walk beside those who are struggling to hope for change. May I walk for antiracism on the journey for justice. May I walk through difficult times to help the stranger in need. May I walk over divisive lines with courage and openness. May I walk in faith that you will bring us together into a beloved community.

This is my stopping prayer.

Lord, may I stop the violence toward my diverse neighbors. May I stop to help those along the road to carry the cross. May I stop beside those fighting to be seen and join in their cry. May I stop for a moment of repentance for my own racism and injustice. May I stop hatred through Jesus’ love and share his grace as my response. May I stop over at the places that martyrs fell and lift up their names in remembrance. May I stop and stand in faith that you will make our beloved community into your beloved family. Amen.

Let it be so and let us be so for you and in your name, Jesus. Amen.

A Prayer for Antiracism by Teryl Cartwright, certified lay servant, Susquehanna Conference of The United Methodist Church

DECEMBER 7, 2021

December 7th, a day that will live in infamy. Yet it was not the first infamous day. It wasn’t the last either. It was a day when death rained from the sky, Lord of life and of hope. A day when hate won out over love, division over community, prejudice over humanity. And in response to this infamy, we fought and killed and died; we rounded up the other, the stranger, the foreigner who had recently been our neighbor and put them into camps, caged them with our hate and our fear.

The lessons of history are hard; we recoil from learning of them or from them because we don’t want to “feel bad” or “learn to hate our country.” But what if we could learn to hate our sin? To love our country and hate our sin? Can we do that? Can we take a day of infamy, national or personal, and repent of our sin, change our responses, heal our broken hearts and reconcile with those we have wronged?

What are we to do with a day of infamy, Lord? Can we learn and grow and build a beloved community? By your grace, maybe we can. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, December 2021

DECEMBER 8, 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.


From “Help Us God, Prayers for Racial Justice, Holston Conference, United Methodist Church. Prayer by Dominique Wilson-Porter, a member of Washington Hills United Methodist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and a member of the Conference Council on Youth Ministries, https://www.holston.org/story/prayer-15197943.

DECEMBER 9, 2021

Jesus our brother, You revealed God through your wise words and loving deeds, and we encounter you still today in the faces of those whom society has pushed to the margins. Guide us, through the love you revealed, to establish the justice you proclaimed, that all people might dwell in harmony and peace, united by that one love that binds us to each other, and to you. Amen.

Prayer for Racial Healing, Catholic Charities of the USA, https://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/prayers_reflections/prayer-for-racial-healing.

DECEMBER 10, 2021

In hope that the arc of history bends toward justice, we lift up our prayers for racial healing, saying: Bind us together, O God of love.

For the Church, that its prophetic voice may proclaim to all the challenge to break the hopeless cycles of ignorance, prejudice, and despair which degrade the sacred dignity of humankind and perpetuate systemic racism, we pray: Bind us together, O God of love.

For our country, that we might celebrate our racial diversity and the distinctive and rich contributions of every fiber of our cultural fabric, we pray: Bind us together, O God of love.

For wise and decisive action on the part of local and national leaders, and all members of our communities, that the scandal and sin of racism may be eradicated from our society, we pray: Bind us together, O God of love.

For an end to the subtle racism of economic oppression which permeates our society’s structures and resides in many hearts, we pray: Bind us together, O God of love.

For our faith communities, that they may not succumb to indifference or accept the status quo, but press on for fundamental change, we pray: Bind us together, O God of love.

For the victims of racial discrimination, that they may be filled with hope for a more just future, healing from wounds received, courage to advocate for change and for peace, and the grace to overcome hated with love, we pray: Bind us together, O God of love.

For all who work for racial justice, that they may be sustained in hope, empowered with courage, and filled with the grace to persevere in love, we pray: Bind us together, O God of love.


“Mercy Mondays: Prayer for Racial Healing,” Salve Today, Salve Regina University, https://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Prayer-for-Racial-Healing.pdf, 2

DECEMBER 13, 2021

Merciful Lord, we consider your wonderful world and its beautiful people created in your image, and we ask for forgiveness for behaviours and attitudes that devalue or demean those who are different.

Forgive us for our tacit acceptance of a society where privilege, partiality and advantage are often the passports to success and wealth.

Have mercy on us for ignoring the reality of racism and bigotry, which deny or curtail the rights and opportunities of those of different ethnicities and cultures.

Give us the courage, determination and honesty to fight for a society governed by justice, equity and compassion, and underpinned by the belief that each person has an inherent worth and has been afforded the dignity and respect they deserve.

Enable us to value diversity, as you do, and encourage it in all forms. This we ask in your precious name.


Resources for Racial Justice Sunday 2013, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, https://ctbi.org.uk/racial-justice-sunday-2013.

DECEMBER 14, 2021


We thank you for this day and for all the grace and mercy you have shown your people. We know there is nothing new under the sun and there is nothing impossible for you, God. We ask that you give us the willingness to listen and the wisdom to interpret based on the love that your word requires of us.

Above all we ask that you heal the broken and hurt in all of our hearts: the oppressed and the oppressor, the hated and the ignorant. Help us to understand what is unclear and help us to make our voices heard. Where it is necessary, we ask that you change the hearts and minds of anyone who has strayed from your will for this country and the world. We expect and rejoice in the great healing that only you can bring to this nation.

In the meantime, we rest in your love and your peace that only you bring to us. Protect our hearts, our families, and our homes from bigotry, hatred, and misunderstanding. We love you, and we thank you for all your blessings.

In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.

From “Help Us God, Prayers for Racial Justice,” Holston Conference, United Methodist Church. Prayer by Danaya Randolph, a senior in biochemistry at Maryville College and a veteran staff member for Camp in the Community, https://www.holston.org/story/prayer-15186131.

DECEMBER 15, 2021

Halfway through this celebrated month, God of Incarnation and of Presence: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas is an understatement to be sure, since Christmas has been marketed since October at least. But I’m wondering if it looks like Christmas to you. What do you see when you gaze at our attempt to capture this reality, this presence of Christ way of living, this baby born to all truth that still escapes us? What do you see when you look in our hearts and examine the divisions we have placed there, between friend and enemy, between like me and not like me, between hope and fear? What do you see?

Do you see something that you intended when you wrapped yourself in our flesh and lay vulnerable in a feeding trough full of hay? Do you see the hope of reconciliation, of binding together that which has been driven apart in the imaginations of our hearts? Do you see any way of a world celebrating the Mass of Christ, the joyous recognition of your grace and hope? Do you look at us and see your Christmas?

Forgive us for falling short of the ideal you lived and died for and thank you for the hope of resurrection into a new life, a new way of being, of loving. Let your Spirit reside among us. Whether we call it the Christmas Spirit or the Holy Spirit, let it be the power that helps us break down the barriers between us and inspires us to build the beloved community. In Christ’s name. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, December 2021

DECEMBER 16, 2021

O Lord, you are a God of justice – may we share your passion for justice, which can be seen throughout the Bible. By the power of your Holy Spirit, enable us to stand up for justice and stand against intolerance.

Thank you that you love each person, made in the image of God. Change our hearts to see others as you do. Allow our hearts to break over the sin of racism, and our lament to turn into righteous action. Amen.

Posted by Free Churches Group, UK, https://www.freechurches.org.uk/news/2021/5/20/daily-prayers-for-racial-justice-23-30-may.

DECEMBER 17, 2021

God of love

We come before you knowing that each person is made in your image, but recognizing that this truth is not what we see in your world.

We thank you for the people that have come before us to open our eyes to the injustices that we have created towards one another, but today we take notice of how far we still have to come with racial justice.

We pray for anyone in our world that is experiencing racial abuse today; help us follow your Son in how we comfort the downtrodden.

We pray against the rise in anti-Semitism, white nationalism and all other forms of racism, that they will be stamped out so we may love one another as your Son has loved us.

We pray that you may open our eyes to the systems that have been used to reinforce racism in our world and help us harness the voice of the prophets to not just see, but speak out where no one else feels able.

We pray for the church, that it may be a place where all are welcome to worship, but also the ability to lead is not based on the color of your skin or the community that you come from.

God our Father, we ask you to transform us into your image and help us to become the people you have called us to be.

In the name of your Son Jesus Christ.


From Racial Justice Sunday Toolkit for Cornish Churches, produced by Churches Together, All Saints Highertown, and Transformation Cornwall, https://togethernetwork.org.uk/uploads/shared/RACIAL_JUSTICE_SUNDAY_TOOLKIT_1.pdf, 10.

DECEMBER 20, 2021

O God, our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer,

We’ve come this far by faith …
We are grateful that your grace, mercy and love never fail us. Your Spirit sustains us.

Yes, we’ve come this far by faith, but we agree that the work is plentiful. Let us not grow weary.
We’ve come this far by faith, O God …
Let us not grow weary for the work of justice. Justice for all. Especially for people of color who have been suffering from systemic oppression for hundreds of years. Justice for your children who have endured so much, yet persevered.

We’ve come this far by faith, O God …
Let us not grow weary for the hard work of dismantling racism. Of setting things right. The hard work of doing, praying, and repenting. The hard work of reconciliation and restoration. Of overturning systems. Of making a ruckus.

We’ve come this far by faith, O God …
Let us not grow weary in the hard work of breaking down walls of hate, economic injustice, and systemic racism.

We’ve come this far by faith, O God …
Let us not grow weary of the hard work in our own hearts. Help us to see more clearly our own explicit and implicit bias. The ways in which we uphold racism. Help us identify where we are complicit in this sin and give us the strength to repent and change.

We’ve come this far by faith, O God …
Let us not grow weary in this Kingdom work. This work of justice. Of reconciliation. Of peace. Help us to lean on you for the strength we need to ask for forgiveness, to push the powers and principalities and to work towards shalom.

Until there is real and true justice ... for all.

We’ve come this far by faith …
Lord, help us to not grow weary. Help us to not grow weary. Amen.

From “Help Us God, Prayers for Racial Justice, Holston Conference, UMC. Prayer by Rev. Jimmy Sherrod, Senior Pastor at Central United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, https://www.holston.org/story/prayer-jimmy-sherrod-15213752.

DECEMBER 21, 2021

Loving God of all creation,

We call this the longest night because in the ebb and flow of light through the rhythm of our movement through space, this is the day that has the most darkness. The day of the longest night.

This is a good thing because it is a part of the created order that you called good. Yet somewhere along the way, we decided that light was good and dark was bad. Somewhere along the way, we became afraid of the dark, preferring the light. And as seems inevitable, this bent-toward-light preference began to twist how we saw people, how we preferred people, how we judged people—that somehow lighter was better, darker was to be avoided, feared, despised. And in so doing, this caused some to hate their dark skin and some to believe their light skin gave them privilege.

Forgive us our foolishness, God of light and of dark. And let us use this longest night to reflect on how darkness can resonate with your presence, how night can be a time of rest and refreshment, a time of study and contemplation. Let us embrace the night, embrace the dark, knowing it is a part of all you have made and thus a part of each of us. On this longest night, may we seek unity and justice and learn to live in peace. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, December 2021

DECEMBER 22, 2021

Lord, we come to you today repenting that we still miss the miracle of Pentecost.
When the disciples spoke in other languages praising You,
We only wondered at how we heard them speak in our language, not theirs.
Forgive us.

At Pentecost, you made your church living Rosetta stones
And yet we still don’t appreciate the diversity of those around us.
We cannot grasp the beauty of all languages lifting their voices together for You.
Forgive us.

Give us tongues of fire, Holy Father, and hearts of light.
Rekindle the Spirit within and between us.
Remind and compel us to see and hear your love in others too.
Help us.

Free us to harmonize our voices and hands and hearts
We understand that what we meant for evil at Babel
You meant for good at Pentecost.
Help us.

We pray to appreciate and lean into our differences,
We are blessed to be made in your image in so many ways
May we celebrate the gifts of our brothers and sisters in love.
Embrace them too.

O Creator, O Word, O Spirit Divine,
No one language or person or group can praise or describe or pray fully to you alone.
May we all bring our uniqueness before You and marvel at all these miracles.
Praise You, God. Amen.

“Love Languages Prayer” by Teryl Cartwright, certified lay servant, Susquehanna Conference of The United Methodist Church.

DECEMBER 23, 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!

“Prayer of Confession for Racial Justice Sunday” was written by the Rev. Susan A. Blain, Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation, Worship and Education Ministry Team, Local Church Ministries. https://www.ucc.org/worship-way/worship_worship-ways_year-c_le_lent-prayer-of-confession.

DECEMBER 24, 2021

We hold our breath this night, God of promise and presence, as we wait to see what will be born. In the midst of all the manufactured busyness of this season and this night, may we pause long enough to hear the flap of an angel’s wing. May we find a still place inside of us to imagine a new world being born to us, in us, through us, from your Spirit.

A new world where differences bring joy and possibility. A new world not divided by color but enriched and enhanced as a tapestry of beauty and wonder. A new world not separated by language but united in the music of speech and song. A new world promised by the one who was laid in a manger, walked on this precious earth, hung on a cross, and raised to glory. In his name, we pray, Amen.

Derek C. Weber, December 2021

DECEMBER 27, 2021

The Second Principle, Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), teaches us we must think and act for ourselves and define ourselves by the good we choose and do in the world. It speaks to our right and responsibility to be ourselves and free ourselves and make our own unique contribution to the radical reimagining and remaking of our societies and the world. And Kujichagulia stresses our moral obligation to reaffirm and support this right for others, especially those oppressed and struggling for freedom, those wronged and injured and struggling for justice, and those disempowered and struggling for power over their destiny and daily lives.

From “KWANZAA AND THE WELL-BEING OF THE WORLD: LIVING AND UPLIFTING THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES” by Dr. Maulana Karenga, Dec. 20, 2020, https://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/documents/2020AnnualFounderKwanzaaMessage.pdf, page 2.

God of all,

May we each with grace understand “self-determination” to include moral obligation to work for the rights of others. Too often, any word that begins with “self” becomes a way of focusing on me and not my place in the world. In this season, Loving God, may we find our way to overcome that which divides, so that we may begin to reflect the new reality that Christ proclaimed. May we remember how interwoven we all are in this complex system we call life. Amen and amen.

Derek C. Weber, December 2021

DECEMBER 28, 2021

Señor Jesús, nos postramos ante tu presencia para pedirte, por toda la humanidad. Y porque haya igualdad en cada ser humano. Tú nos formaste perfectos, al formar a Adán y Eva a tu imagen. Desde el principio nos sostuviese y has venido a morir por amor a cada uno de nosotros.

Lord Jesus, we humble ourselves before your presence to ask you, for all humanity, to bring equality in every human being. You created us perfect, by forming Adam and Eve to your image. From the beginning, you have sustained us, and you have come to die out of love for each one of us.

Hoy te pedimos quitar el odio que ha iniciado en tu misma creación y entre tus hijos. Quienes hemos sido formados por ti.

Today we ask you to remove the hatred that has started in your very creation and among your children, who have been formed by you.

Señor, me pregunto por qué el racismo y discriminación y encuentro que la respuesta es la falta de amor entre nosotros.

Lord, I wonder why racism and discrimination exist, and I find that the answer is the lack of love between us.

Pero tú que nos das ese amor sin medida te pedimos ayuda para llevar fe y esperanza a aquellos necesitados de amor y que puedan abandonar el racismo al abrir sus ojos y ver que delante de ti todos somos iguales. Amén.

But you who give us that love without measure, we ask for your help to bring faith and hope to those in need of love, that we could abandon hate and racism by opening our eyes to see that before you, we are all equal. Amen.

From “What’s Behind Racism? Lack of Love,” Help Us God, Prayers for Racial Justice, Holston Conference, UMC. Prayer by Rev. Saul Huerta, Pastor of the Nacimiento de Fe congregation at First United Methodist Church in Hillsville, Virginia. Traducción y adaptación: Pastor Daniel Castillo. https://www.holston.org/story/saul-huerta-prayer-15188428.

DECEMBER 29, 2021

Loving and Faithful God, we are grateful to you this day for the gift of life, and for your loving kindness. We thank you for your unconditional love and your peace that surpasses all human understanding. In your own infinite wisdom, you created us in your own image. Yet, we have failed to see your image in one another. Many of us have been treated cruelly and unfairly and the System has failed us. As your people, we have failed to speak and stand up for justice.

So, we confess to you Merciful God for our complicity and participation in racism. We have been blinded by the injustice and discrimination of our society. We have remained silent on issues of discrimination and racism.

Forgive our shallow ways and open our eyes and hearts to see and understand that this is not your will or vision for the world you love. Loving God, grant us the ability to love one another as we long for right relationship. In your love and mercy, heal and transform our ways of doing things so that whatever we do will reflect your love for humanity.

You are the Creator of all people. Bind us together by the power of your love. On this day, we pray that in your mercy, you will put an end to racism and let your light shine among us and your church, and throughout the world. May the church continue to strive to make every element of human life correspond to the true dignity of the human person. May you reign among us. May all who seek you this day find you.

O Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer and use all of us as vessels of peace, grace, unity, and transformation. We offer our humble prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and King,


Written by the Rev. Sampson Afoakwah, Montreal West Presbyterian Church, Que. https://presbyterian.ca/2021/03/18/intl-day-for-elimination-of-racial-discrimination.

DECEMBER 30, 2021

Forgive us, your people, O Lord, because, again and again, we have misunderstood your grace, misinterpreted your gospel and misrepresented your glory, and so have brought pain and shame on our fellow human beings.

Forgive us for our history of violence toward our neighbour, who is different, and open our eyes instead to the beauty of your likeness in every person, without whom we cannot truly see Christ, who is our only hope and our true salvation.


prayers by Martyn Payne by permission of BRF (Bible Reading Fellowship, UK) www.brf.org.uk.

DECEMBER 31, 2021

Another brink, God of yesterday and tomorrow, another threshold before us. Call it Noche Vieja, call it Hogmanay, call it Watch Night: it is the night we transition from one year to the next, from the old year to the new. It is a time of opportunity, of repentance – turning around, changing our minds, which is what metanoia means. Let us resolve to step across the threshold into a new year with hope and the willingness to do more and to be more as we continue to strive to end racism and to lean into the kin-dom of God with our whole being.

Let us spend this last day of 2021 on watch. We watch for the movement of Spirit transforming old ways of thinking into new possibilities of equality. We watch for the movement of the people of all races to bring justice even to those on the margins. We watch for the movement of the church to break the silence and tacit acceptance of structures of privilege. We watch for worship that values diversity and celebrates multicultural expressions of joy and challenge. We watch – knowing that to watch is not to sit on the sidelines but to participate in the birthing of a new age, a new kin-dom, a new way of being God’s people in the world.

We stand on a threshold. May we watch, with eyes and hands and words and deeds. We long to move into God’s tomorrow. In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen.

Derek C. Weber, December 2021

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