Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism (October-December 2022)
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OCTOBER 3, 2022
God and Father of all, in your love you made all the nations of the world to be a family, and your Son taught us to love one another. Yet our world is riven apart with prejudice, arrogance, and pride.
Help the different races to love and understand one another better. Increase among us sympathy, tolerance, and goodwill, that we may learn to appreciate the gifts that other races bring to us, and to see in all people our brothers and sisters for whom Christ died.
Save us from jealousy, hatred, and fear, and help us to live together as members of one family at home in the world, sons and daughters of one Father who live in the liberty of the children of God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland, (Edinburgh: St. Andrew Press, 1994) cited on “Prayers for Racial Harmony,” Faithward, https://www.faithward.org/prayers-for-racial-harmony/.
OCTOBER 4, 2022
On this feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, may our praise rise up for Brother Sun and Sister Moon and all the gifts of your creation, Loving God. May our care for all that is reflect our love for you and our gratitude for a world so wondrously made. May we too have the grace to see you in the beauty of that which surrounds us every day.
Not just the flowers and trees, the animals and birds, and all the creatures of this earth, but may we see you in the glorious diversity of your human creation. May we sing a joyous song of praise at the variety of color and language and culture that surrounds us in this increasingly interwoven world in which we live. May we learn to give honor to those who are different and embrace them with enthusiasm and grace as we hope for a kin-dom creation in which your imagio radiates forth from each and from all.
In Christ’s name, we pray, amen.
Derek Weber, September 2022
OCTOBER 5, 2022
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:
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:
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:
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!
Excerpted from “Prayer of Confession: Racial Justice Sunday,” United Church of Christ, https://www.ucc.org/worship-way/worship_worship-ways_year-c_le_lent-prayer-of-confession/.
OCTOBER 6, 2022
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, colour and gender both in the church in 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. Amen.
National Council of Churches in India, Dalit Liberation Sunday 2009, https://ctbi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/RJS-2010-Prayer-suggestions.pdf, page 2.
OCTOBER 7, 2022
God of justice, In your wisdom you create all people in your image, without exception. Through your goodness, open our eyes to see the dignity, beauty, and worth of every human being. Open our minds to understand that all your children are brothers and sisters in the same human family. Open our hearts to repent of racist attitudes, behaviors, and speech which demean others. Open our ears to hear the cries of those wounded by racial discrimination, and their passionate appeals for change. Strengthen our resolve to make amends for past injustices and to right the wrongs of history. And fill us with courage that we might seek to heal wounds, build bridges, forgive and be forgiven, and establish peace and equality for all in our communities. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Prayer for Racial Healing, Catholic Charities USA (May 13, 2021), https://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/prayers_reflections/prayer-for-racial-healing/.
OCTOBER 10, 2022
When I was a schoolkid, God of all people and all time, we celebrated the discovery of this nation with pride and the innocence of children who were never taught to question how a land already populated with multiple nations of people could be discovered. We celebrated the achievement of those who looked like most of us and ignored the realities of those who had different features and different languages and different histories.
Forgive our shortsightedness, Lord, our self-centered orientations around this vast and diverse world you have created. Open our eyes even now to possibilities and to unity in difference. Help us celebrate Indigenous People’s Day with reverence, confession, and determination to work together to build a world where all are honored and respected and loved. Help us lean into the kin-dom of your heaven.
In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.
Derek Weber, October 2022
OCTOBER 11, 2022
“You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.’” (Psalm 91:1-2 NRSV)
O God, we pray for all who seek shelter and home to be covered by the shadow of your grace and love. Use your church throughout the world to be a refuge from pain and a fortress against oppression and injustice. Remind us that you are most present with those who journey through deserts and rivers, bravely crossing borders and holding on to the hope of a new day. Renew our commitment to the poor and dispossessed, to the immigrant, and the refugee, for when we do, "va Dios mismo en nuestro mismo caminar." Then we know that God still goes that road with us. Amen.
A Prayer for Hispanic Heritage Month by the Rev. Dr. Lydia E. Muñoz, Executive Director of the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministries for the United Methodist Church.
OCTOBER 12, 2022
Our heavenly Father, You have made us of one blood, all nations to dwell upon the earth. You created the human family to be at one with each other, “to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).”
We confess, O God, that instead of recognizing and celebrating our oneness, we have divided ourselves into races, classes, colors, and nationalities. …
We have witnessed the brutality, the lynching, the hatred, the prejudice, the segregation, and the denial of freedom and justice for all.
The cancer of racism is gnawing away the moral fabric of our nation. …
O God, we pray that you will open our eyes and heal the brokenness of our nation and world. … Help us know that we are one, and help us overcome racism, bigotry, and hatred. Help us be instruments of your love so that where there is hatred, we might bring love. …
In the name of Jesus, our Lord, who is the Christ, we make this request.
“To Open Our Eyes and Heal Our Brokenness,” Tyler History, Prayers That Empower, http://www.tylerhistory.org/prayers-that-empower-week-3.
OCTOBER 13, 2022
Jesus, the Great Physician, I pray for generations that have been affected by racial hate, racism and prejudice. I pray for the families who have been oppressed because they have been marginalized due to the color of their skin. Let the oppressed realize that they are royalty in Your eyes. Help them to realize that whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Heal the broken, and bind their wounds. Strengthen the weak. Wipe every tear from their eye, mighty Savior. This we ask, in Jesus’ all-powerful and healing name. Amen.
“Prayer for Families Hurt by Racism,” Connect Us: 7 Strong Prayers for Racial Healing (April 23, 2019), https://connectusfund.org/7-strong-prayers-for-racial-healing.
OCTOBER 14, 2022
We pray, O Lord, for change.
Jesus 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 peoples might dwell in harmony and peace, united by that one love that binds us to each other, and to you.
And most of all, Lord, change our routine worship and work into genuine encounter with you and our better selves so that our lives will be changed for the good of all.
Prayer adapted from Racial Healing and Liturgical Resources by the Office of Black Catholics, Archdiocese of Baltimore cited on “Racial Justice,” St. Austin Catholic Parish, https://staustin.org/racial-justice.
OCTOBER 17, 2022
One God, in Three Persons, creator of one human species, in many hues:
All who pray to you are descendants of Adam and Eve, all members of one race called “human.”
Forgive the blindness that causes our eyes to notice and magnify those things we regard as different from ourselves in others.
Teach us to see clearly, that we, your children, are far more alike than we are different. Help us to put aside the racial prejudices embedded within us, and to see within every person the Child of God you created, our sister or brother, destined for Glory.
In the name of One who died for all persons, of all colors, Jesus Christ.
“To Put Aside All Racial Prejudices,” Tyler History: 28 Prayers, http://www.tylerhistory.org/prayers-for-justice-week-1.
OCTOBER 18, 2022
We celebrate fall, God of changing seasons and eternal presence. We give thanks for the signs that we can see in some parts of your world, of the plants that prepare for colder days, of animals who burrow and build for warmth and for home. But most of all, we rejoice in the wondrous explosions of color that cover the hillsides, the reds and yellows, the orange and brown that lift our hearts and remind us to pay attention to beauty from time to time.
But why do we rejoice in the variety of color in the leaves and the plants, but are afraid of the variations of human hues? Why cannot we give thanks that we are not all made to look the same, even though we are made to be one family, one race? Why do we not see diversity as the powerful good that it is, but invent fears and divisions instead? Help us, God of variety and a palette of beauty, to embrace your gift and see beauty in difference. In Christ’s name. Amen.
Derek Weber, October 2022
OCTOBER 19, 2022
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 colour 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.
“Prayers of Confession and Intercession,” Racial Justice Sunday Toolkit for Cornish Churches (February 13, 2022), https://togethernetwork.org.uk/uploads/shared/RACIAL_JUSTICE_SUNDAY_TOOLKIT_1.pdf, page 10.
OCTOBER 20, 2022
Gracious God, in Christ Jesus, you teach us to love our neighbors but instead we build dividing walls of hostility. You show us how to love one another as sisters and brothers but instead we hide from our own human family. You ask us to seek out the stranger and welcome the guest. You want us to share your abundant gifts with the poor but instead, we cling tightly to our possessions and our privilege. You call us to proclaim good news to all people but instead ,we waste our words and hide our light. Lord, our loving God, have mercy on us. Forgive our sin, open our hearts, and change our lives. Fill us with the Holy Spirit. Make us holy and whole—one people, united in faith, hope, and love through Jesus Christ, Our reconciler and redeemer.
Presbyterian Mission Agency, Resources on Cultural Diversity and Racism, cited in “Prayers of Confession on Race and Reconciliation,” The Pastor’s Workshop, https://thepastorsworkshop.com/prayers-of-confession-on-race-reconciliation.
OCTOBER 21, 2022
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. John 14:27 NRSV
Heavenly Father, we know that You are the Source of the peace that passes understanding. In these troubled times, give us understanding minds and hearts as we listen to the cries of the oppressed, the wounded, the confused, and even 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://csjla.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/for-racial-justice.pdf.
OCTOBER 24, 2022
God of all time and all peoples,
We are learning to listen for your voice through the practices and patterns of others. We rejoice with our Hindu and Sikh and Jain sisters and brothers as they celebrate Diwali, a festival of light. We acknowledge that this world needs more light, more symbols of community and welcome, of knowledge and spiritual discernment. We give thanks for signs of cooperation and sharing of cultures and traditions. Not to abandon our own in favor of another, but to embrace the rich tapestry of faith at work in this world. Let us begin to share our faith by listening and appreciating our neighbors. In this way, we might together bring to an end prejudice and fear and hatred and learn to live by the light we have. In your name, we pray, Amen.
Derek Weber, October 2022
OCTOBER 25, 2022
Almighty God, through your Holy Spirit you created unity in the midst of diversity. We acknowledge that human diversity is an expression of your manifold love for your creation. We confess that in our brokenness as human beings we turn diversity into a source of alienation, injustice, oppression, and wounding. Empower us to recognize and celebrate differences as your great gift to the human family. Enable us to be the architects of understanding, of respect and love. Through the Lord, the ground of all unity, we pray. AMEN.
Author unknown, used by Contemplative Prayer for Reconciliation and Healing from Racism, https://mailchi.mp/925e03491ed5/representation-matters-on-the-supreme-court?fbclid=IwAR07Be8JOJxQlNI9j8cQ2THrZ74RksiP_6sd6VQqV0KgW77bxQOWD1a6C9Q.
OCTOBER 26, 2022
Good and gracious God, you invite us to recognize and reverence your divine image and likeness in our neighbour. Enable us to see the reality of racism and free us to challenge and uproot it from our society, our world and ourselves.
We acknowledge and lament the conscious and unconscious racism encountered by many black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities in our churches and society.
Give us the courage to stand unequivocally for justice and for truth. Help us to dismantle racist agendas and to transform unjust structures. Help us to love you with all our heart, soul, and minds. Help us to love one another as you commanded us to do. Help us to treat each other as we would have others treat us. Help us together to find lasting solutions to end injustice and inequality in our world. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
“Prayer of Acknowledgement and Lament” from “Taking the Knee: Prayers for Racial Justice and Equality,” a resource provided by the Church and Society Commission of the Church of Ireland, https://www.ireland.anglican.org/cmsfiles/pdf/Resources/CASC/2020/Taking-the-Knee-Act-of-Solidarity.pdf, 1.
OCTOBER 27, 2022
O Great Creator who places your people
in every corner of this rich round earth
adorning them with beauty and wisdom
help us to celebrate the gifts of this land.
We are your people, born of your spirit.
Many have come to conquer and possess
yet still we thrive grounded in your love
our feet are planted on sacred ground
and eyes lift to your voice in the night sky.
We are your people, born of your spirit.
There is conflict and violence everywhere
yet still you are in the midst of us all
you have made us sisters and brothers
relatives of all that you have made.
We are your people, born of your spirit.
Strengthen us to love despite misunderstanding
Help us to live gently on the land you give us
Empower us to show your presence everywhere
Make us your hands of love in trying times.
We are your people, born of your spirit.
A Litany for Indigenous Peoples’ Day by Carol Gallager, Beloved Community Initiative, https://becomingbelovedcommunity.org/litany-for-indigenous-peoples-day.
OCTOBER 28, 2022
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 peoples might dwell in harmony and peace, united by that one love that binds us to each other, and to you. Amen.
From Prayer for Racial Healing, Catholic Charities USA, https://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Prayer-for-Racial-Healing-003.pdf, 2.
OCTOBER 31, 2022
The doorbell will ring tonight, Lord of laughter and of children. We’ll be greeted with costumed superheroes and princesses, robots, witches, and all sorts of scary things. This day has grown large in recent years, though it is hard to know why. For the littlest among us, it is a moment of fun and candy, a time to dress up and pretend and be rewarded for their cuteness. But for some, there is a desire to seek that which frightens, the terror that lies out there in a complicated world. It is flirting with our mortality, perhaps, daring death to draw close enough to make us feel alive for once.
Maybe we should not seek the terrors that lie without until we face the terrors within. Maybe this All Hallows Eve can be a day when we offer up the hatreds that haunt us, the fear of the other, and the suspicions of those who are different. May we not live by fear, but by the perfect love that drives out fear. May we not attempt to govern by frightening the populace, but by offering hope and unity, justice and peace. Instead of tricks and treats, let us live in love of God and neighbor. In the name of this Risen Christ. Amen.
Derek Weber, October 2022
NOVEMBER 1, 2022
I’m missing my mother this All-Saints Day, God of eternity. I am missing her presence, her generous spirit and easy hospitality. Though it has been some years, I still feel less than whole somehow, without her blessing on my life. Yet if the promise is true, then she is still with me, her wisdom still guides me, her heart still shapes mine; and through my words and deeds, she still casts ripples on the waters of this life, and I am comforted in that.
Today I am missing many mothers and fathers of my faith, our faith. Those who spoke wisdom into being, those who called us to acknowledge the family that we are, all together, of different hues and textures and tones. I am missing the mothers who wept and marched, the fathers who bore the pain of suffering for the sake of their family and a better world. I am missing the saints who gave us a glimpse of the kin-dom in their words and deeds, in their strength and love. Yet if the promise is true, then they are still with us, shaping, encouraging, guiding. May we join the saints we remember to work toward justice and hope. Amen and amen.
Derek Weber, October 2022
NOVEMBER 2, 2022
Leader: Father of the Heavenly Lights, you brought us to life by your Word of truth,
People: We were made in your image, sons and daughters of all colors.
L: The cancerous wickedness of racism has caused your children to suffer. Prejudice, discrimination, and hatred have led to brokenness, violence and even death.
P: 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.
L: Purify our hearts and tame our tongues, we pray;
P: Give us courage to repent, to fight for righteousness, and to love and embrace one another…
L: In the name of Jesus, Our Lord…
Litany of Confession, Rev. Rhea Summit, Pastor, New Alexandria UMC, Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church, https://www.wpaumc.org/antiracismworshipresources.
NOVEMBER 3, 2022
O Lord, open our hearts to respect and uplift the dignity of every person. Open our eyes to see the injustices within church and society. Open our ears to listen and learn from the experiences of people of color. Open our mouths to speak out against prejudice and injustice. We commit ourselves to work for justice and peace, and to pursue a deeper relationship to you, Lord, so that we truly may be the body of Christ on earth, your church for the sake of the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Liberty Bell Church, based on “Worship Resources for Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.” https://libertybellchurch.org/wp-content/themes/atahualpa351/images/Prayer%20150906%20Prayer%20to%20End%20Racism.pdf.
NOVEMBER 4, 2022
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who came to set us free from all sins of dividedness and domination,
And the love of God
Who created us to be with God and one another
And the communion of the Holy Spirit,
Who joins us together in truth, peace, and justice,
Be with us all, now, and forever. Amen.
Benediction, Global Prayer UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, World Council of Churches, https://www.oikoumene.org/resources/prayers/global-prayer-un-international-day-for-the-elimination-of-racial-discrimination.
NOVEMBER 7, 2022
Lord, we are not and do not seek to be “colorblind” any more than we would deny the variety of fragrant flowers on a hillside or radiant fish in our ocean’s coral reefs. You handcrafted each one of us to reflect Your beauty and brilliance to the world.
Remove everything that distorts and deceives, including the sin within me, so that my eyes have become sharpened and clear. Help me to view all of your children as valuable, deeply loved expressions of You, and may I praise You, the master artist, for each one. Open the eyes of my friends, coworkers, and family members as well to the beauty revealed in each human soul.
Jennifer Slattery, “Help Me to See the Beauty in Diversity,” 30 Day Prayer Challenge for Ending Racism, June 15, 2020, https://newsletters.ibelieve.com/direct-ending-racism-prayer-guide, page 9.
NOVEMBER 8, 2022
God of all, at the beginnings of creation – out of nothing you separated the waters from the sky; as your children, we have been nourished by your waters in our baptism; indeed, your entire creation is given new life and hope through your life-giving waters.
May the waters of your justice flow as we move forward in faith with you. May the waters of your hope embrace us on our journey towards justice. May the waters of your justice sustain us, keep us, encourage us, and lead us. May we be given sustenance, strength and hope to create new pathways for your justice to flow.
Lauren J. Wrightsman, Senior Pastor, Roseville Lutheran Church, https://www.rosevillelutheran.org/justice/.
NOVEMBER 9, 2022
God of healthy disagreements, God of principled stands: we need not have the same mind to sit around the same table. We need not share precise beliefs to fit within a home. We need not speak the same dialect to be part of a loving family. And we need not see the world the same to know it’s big enough for all. As we hold firm to what we know is right, may we honor the ground where others stand, so that more of the earth, and more of our imagination, may be hallowed in your name. Amen
“Prayers and Witnessing Peace and Justice,” Christ Episcopal Church, Coronado, CA (October 6, 2020), https://www.christchurchcoronado.org/blog/prayers-and-witnessing-peace-and-justice.
NOVEMBER 10, 2022
Almighty God, who hast created us in thine own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Episcopal Church, The Book of Common Prayer: For Social Justice (pg. 260), cited on MLK Day Collects and Prayers,” Episcopal Church in Connecticut, https://www.episcopalct.org/category/prayers.
NOVEMBER 11, 2022
This is the day, God of peace, that we recognize and honor and say thank you to those who are veterans of our military. Many of them still bear the scars made by sacrifices of body and mind and spirit. Help us find the resources and the will to serve them with as much devotion as they served us. And let us work to overcome the inequities in providing care and protection due to differences in race and gender. May our veterans bear witness to the justice and equality of our intentions by how we give them their due, not just on this day, but every day.
Lord, this day was chosen because it was called the end of the war to end all wars. Yet we know how naive and inaccurate this sentiment and this hope was. No one longs for true peace more than those who have known the horrors of war and hatred. So let us honor those who served by building a lasting peace among all peoples, nations, and races. In the name of the one who proclaimed peace, we pray. Amen.
Derek Weber, October 2022
NOVEMBER 14, 2022
God of freedom, we pray for our nation and for all nations of the world: for peace and justice for all your people; for the crumbling of boundaries that divide us along lines of race, class, color, language, or religion; for our leaders, that they may serve the common good with integrity and goodwill. Inspire all people with courage to speak out against hatred, to actively contend with and never make peace with evil, especially the sins of racism and white supremacy. Unite the human family in bonds of love.
God of freedom,
Hear our prayers for the world.
Excerpted from “Prayers of the People During Time of Racial Unrest and Pandemic,” Diocese of Newark, https://dioceseofnewark.org/sites/default/files/resources/Intercessions%20-%20Racial%20Justice%20and%20Pandemic.pdf, page 1.
NOVEMBER 15, 2022
Holy beloved Father,
Your Son Jesus taught us
That there is great rejoicing in heaven
Whenever someone lost is found,
Whenever someone excluded, rejected or discarded
Is gathered into our 'we' -
Which thus becomes ever wider.
We ask you to grant the followers of Jesus,
And all people of good will,
The grace to do your will on earth.
Bless each act of welcome and outreach
That draws those in exile
Into the 'we' of community and the church,
So that our Earth may truly become
What you yourself created it to be:
The common home of all our brothers and sisters.
“The wider ‘we’ - a prayer of unity and welcome” from the National Board of Catholic Women, Bishop’s Conference to England and Wales, https://www.nbcw.co.uk/prayers-for-our-time.
NOVEMBER 16, 2022
We’re living on the brink, God of all time and all hope. We are looking forward and sometimes working furiously to prepare ourselves for another hectic holiday season and end-of-year celebration coming at us with reckless abandon. Our routines will be upset, and pressures will seem immense. We may be short-tempered and lash out even toward those we love. We pray for your peace in what may become a difficult time, even though we long for the joy of the coming season.
But may it also open our eyes to the reality of those whose lives are constantly lived on the brink. On the brink of despair, on the brink of exclusion, on the brink of abuse or neglect, on the brink of poverty. There are those in our society who live difficult lives, Lord. May we learn compassion; may we live love and acceptance for those who live on the margins of our society—not out of pity, but out of a desire for full inclusion. Until all know the joy of belonging and the grace of hope. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Derek Weber, November 2022
NOVEMBER 17, 2022
Create in us a new mind and heart that will enable us to see brothers and sisters in the faces of those divided by racial categories. Give us the grace and strength to rid ourselves of racial stereotypes that oppress some of us while providing entitlements to others.
Help us to create a Church and nation that embraces the hopes and fears of oppressed People of Color where we live, as well as those around the world. Heal your family, God, and make us one with you, in union with our brother Jesus, and empowered by your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Prayer by Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team of the Sisters of Providence, Posted by Gonzaga University, https://www.gonzaga.edu/about/president-leadership/messages-media/2021/thoughts-and-prayers-daunte-wright-and-caron-nazario.
NOVEMBER 18, 2022
O Heavenly Father, our hearts are heavy. Broken. Please give us eyes to see and ears to hear where your Spirit is working. Help us to see every person the way that You see them. Break our hearts for what breaks Yours, God. Let us not merely say that we love each other. Give us strength to mourn with those who mourn, to weep with those who weep. Let your justice roll like waters. Let your righteousness and love flow from us like rivers of living water. Purify our hearts, Lord, and fill us with genuine hunger for justice, for mercy and for true peace. Heavenly Father, let justice and mercy start with me. Amen.
“A Prayer for True Justice,” YouVersion, https://web-assets.youversion.com/html-email/2020-06-prayer-for-true-justice/2020-06-prayer-for-true-justice-en.html.
NOVEMBER 21, 2022
Lord, we need your strength to step beyond blindness, indifference, and fear; to step toward those whom we have sinned against. O Lord, open our hearts to respect and uplift the dignity of every person. Open our eyes to see the injustices within the church and society. Open our ears to listen and learn from the experiences of people different from us. Open our mouths to speak out against prejudice and injustice.
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart [and especially the hearts of the people of this land], that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Excerpted from “Lament Against Racism,” Church of the Redeemer, Greensboro, NC (March 25, 2019), compiled by Dr Jason Myers, https://www.redeemergso.org/blog-feed/2019-10-15-prayers-of-the-people-a-litany-against-racism.
NOVEMBER 22, 2022
Lord, make me an instrument of your holy discomfort
Where there is privilege, let me sow equity,
Where there is violence, let me work for peace,
Where there is division, let me seek unity,
Where there is racism, let me pursue racial justice,
Where there is environmental degradation, let me care for creation,
Where there is political discord, let me seek the common good,
And where there is economic inequality, let me seek justice.
O God of Justice, grant that I may not so much seek comfort,
as to welcome hard truths,
To be heard, as to listen,
To hold power, as to empower,
To seek control, as to follow,
For it is in humility, that we learn,
It is in seeking forgiveness, that we are reconciled,
And it is in dying to self, that we are born to new life.
Daniel P. Horan, OFM, PhD, “Peace Prayer for the Privileged” (October 9, 2020), https://medium.com/@DanielHoran/peace-prayer-for-the-privileged-363b94578aeb.
NOVEMBER 23, 2022
We pray that someday arrows will be broken,
not in something or someone,
but by each of humankind,
to indicate peace, not violence.
Someday, oneness with creation,
rather than domination over creation,
will be the goal to be respected.
Someday fearlessness to love and make a difference
will be experienced by all people.
Then the eagle will carry our prayer for peace and love,
and the people of the red, white, yellow, brown, and black communities
can sit in the same circle together to communicate in love,
and experience the presence of the Great Mystery Spirit in their midst.
Someday can be today, for you and me. Amen.
“A Prayer of the Chippewa Nation” from A Selection of Prayers and Collects, https://d3hgrlq6yacptf.cloudfront.net/5f3ffda5728e0/content/pages/documents/ASelectionofPrayersandCollects.docx, pages 4-5.
NOVEMBER 24, 2022
It is Thanksgiving Day in the USA again, O Lord to whom we owe our gratitude. This day has become a day of indulgence, of excess for many. And perhaps surprisingly, I find myself praying – let it be so! Let this Thanksgiving Day be a day of indulgence and excess. Let us indulge in gratitude that spills over into caring for our neighbor. Let there be an excess of service and acts of compassion. Let us indulge in acceptance and in hope, faith in our community and in our neighborhoods. Let there be an excess of boundary crossing and wall destroying as we indulge in community building and welcome giving.
We can give thanks in words and in prayers, and we should as often as we can. But we can also give thanks with our hands and our resources as we share and lift up and include. May our excess spill out onto those who may not look like us but who carry the same image of God within. May we indulge in loving rather than hating, including rather than shunning, enjoying rather than fearing.
Our prayer, God of abundance, is that this Thanksgiving will be one of indulgence and excess, in Christ’s name. Amen.
Derek Weber, November 2022
NOVEMBER 25, 2022
O God, true source of wholeness and peace, in a world bearing fresh wounds of suffering and grief, you call us to be a people of healing. Help us to reach out to neighbors in need, to bear one another’s burdens, to weep with those who weep. Give us the grace to share the comfort of Christ with all those who long for his healing touch. Help us to hold in our hearts and show in our lives what we proclaim with our lips: Goodness is stronger than evil; love is stronger than hate; light is stronger than darkness; hope is stronger than despair.
Pax Christie, Dominican Sisters of Peace, https://oppeace.org/blog/2018/05/25/prayer-uplifting-human-dignity.
NOVEMBER 28, 2022
When all we have left to do is cry out in the midst of the pain, give us hope.
When our tears feel like the only way to quench our thirst, remind us of your providing presence.
When loneliness seems overwhelming,
Make your presence known.
This world seems so full of death and destruction, but you are a God of life and restoration.
Mold us into an unwavering people of grace, passion and love that cannot ever be ignored.
Rev. D.G.Hollums, “A Prayer: Turning to God in Days of Trouble,” United Methodist Communications, https://www.umc.org/en/content/a-united-methodist-prayer-turning-to-god-in-days-of-trouble.
NOVEMBER 29, 2022
Loving God of grace,
Someone determined that after a holiday of indulgence and a shopping frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we needed something to cleanse our souls; so Giving Tuesday was born. Our prayer this day is that like the spirit of gratitude of Thanksgiving, may the desire to give not be a momentary inclination but a way of life and way of living. We have done too well making consumerism our way of being. Help us set aside that rush to own, to materialize our desires and procure the latest and best of all of our toys and tech. Instead ,help us live to give in such a way that we can claim what we truly need – community, equity, and justice.
May our giving this Giving Tuesday not be a token to soothe our own souls, but an investment into the beloved community we long to embrace. May we give to causes that cross color lines, to investments to help to heal what is broken in our society, to ministries that are led by those who live with the impact of institutional racism. May we give with joy and with hope for the kin-dom that is not yet and still so near. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Derek Weber, November 2022
NOVEMBER 30, 2022
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, 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. Amen.
Patrick Saint-Jean, SJ, St. Louis University, Madrid, https://www.slu.edu/madrid/campus-life/docs/prayer-against-racism.pdf.
DECEMBER 1, 2022
There are plagues aplenty, God of healing and wholeness. There is sickness of body and of soul. There is much for which we should work and pray for a just and equitable end. But for some reason, AIDS still bears a stigma that troubles so many. We may have resources in this country to help us control its effects, but there are places in our world that are ravaged by this disease. Open our eyes to the impact on those who are considered less than and who are often left to suffer because of the economics of race and politics. But help us see with hope the efforts of those who are working to bring much-needed medicines and treatments and who are caring for those who were orphaned by the epidemic. We give thanks for the workers, for the caregivers and doctors who are giving of themselves to this cause. And we weep with and for the families who are grieving and trying to survive. Show us how to be present with the hurting, both near and far on this World AIDS Day. Show us, O Lord of all people, how to care. Amen.
Derek Weber, November 2022
DECEMBER 2, 2022
God of justice, in your wisdom you create all people in your image, without exception. Through your goodness, open our eyes to see the dignity, beauty, and worth of every human being. Open our minds to understand that all your children are brothers and sisters in the same human family. Open our hearts to repent of racist attitudes, behaviors and speech which demean others. Open our ears to hear the cries of those wounded by racial discrimination, and their passionate appeals for change. Strengthen our resolve to make amends for past injustices and to right the wrongs of history. And fill us with courage that we might seek to heal wounds, build bridges, forgive and be forgiven, and establish peace and equality for all in our communities. Amen.
“Prayer for Racial Healing,” Catholic Charities USA (March 12, 2019), https://isaackalamazoo.org/prayer-for-racial-healing.
DECEMBER 5, 2022
O giver of all good gifts, you have differently blessed and differently challenged your children. Some of us have handicaps for which we need the aid of social services, and some of us find our quest for such aid hindered by the complication of racial discrimination. Help us to overcome barriers of all kinds that prevent your people from functioning fully and freely and let us never tolerate the denial of equal services to anyone because of their race. Amen.
“A Year of Prayers to End Racism,” the Diocesan Commission to End Racism, http://www.wvdiocese.org/pages/pdfs/ayearofprayertoendracism.pdf, page 4.
DECEMBER 6, 2022
“He was a bishop who not only did great charity, often anonymously but also condemned the unjust.”
God of celebrations and observances,
“Jolly old St. Nick” seems a far cry from the Bishop of Myra who became known as a protector of children, an advocate for the poor, and a campaigner against slavery. We have a habit of muting the harder edges of people and events so that we can remember them without changing too much of our own lifestyle and values.
But what if, on this St. Nicholas Day, we decided to live the life of the saint and work to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and release the captives? What if we determined that our brothers and sisters might not look like us or sound like us, but are indeed worthy of respect and of justice? What if we decided to emulate this bishop, as he emulated the one we call Emmanuel? What if?
Amen, and let it be so.
Derek Weber, November 2022
DECEMBER 7, 2022
Eighty-one years is a long time in our human experience, God of all time and of all people. And yet we remember and are reminded. We remember a “day that will live in infamy” and those who lost their lives in a brutal attack and in the war that became our identity thereafter. Though the veterans of that war are few, we remember the families devastated and nations broken by a conflict defined as world-altering, but not – unfortunately – wars ending.
What we also remember, to our shame, is how in reaction to the events of this day, our racist reactions put innocent people at risk and perpetuated our fears and suspicions of the “other.” Current episodes of Asian hate are a legacy of this fear.
Show us how to stand against this hatred among us and within us. Show us how to stand with those who have been abused and attacked simply for who they are or how they look. Show us how to lean into the kin-dom you call us to embrace by living in unity and justice for all. On this day of remembrance, let us remember who you have called us to be. In Christ’s name, Amen.
Derek Weber, November 2022
DECEMBER 8, 2022
When will they listen God? When will they hear the voices of the oppressed? When will the excuses end? God, we your people are now in pain, and no one seems to care. They want to focus on what we do, but they do not want to acknowledge what they have done. They refuse to turn away from their sin. They have sullied the table. Their ignorance has taken the lives of George Floyd, Antwon Rose Jr., Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, and many more.
God, we turn to you now in prayer for our black and brown siblings. Guide us! Protect us with your mighty hand! God, we are so tired. Our spirits have become weary from the gaslighting, the justifying, the minimizing, and the silencing of our voices. God, let your spirit reenergize us. Let the fires of our rage never be quenched by the manipulative tears of our oppressors. Let the fires of our ancestors bring forth a new Pentecost. One that ignites the hearts of all of humanity and calls us to learn a new language. The language of the oppressed. May the master’s tools be broken. May our rage be louder than ever! May our outcry for justice disrupt and dismantle the systems of oppression. God, we pray for your peace in our world, knowing that the only way for it to come is by justice being done for your children. Amen!
A prayer of lament by Jerrell Williams, Mennonite Church USA, https://www.mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/lament-violence-of-racism/.
DECEMBER 9, 2022
Almighty God, source of our life, we acknowledge you as Creator of all people of every race, language and way of life. Help us to see each other as you see us: your sons and daughters loved into being and sustained by your parental care. Keep watch over our hearts so that the evil of racism will find no home with us. Direct our spirits to work for justice and peace so that all barriers to your grace which oppress our brothers and sisters will be removed. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
“Bible Readings and Prayers to End Racism” https://static1.squarespace.com/static/50e5979fe4b0d83d9231662c/t/58c3181dbf629a85334f8694/1489180701327/justpaxracepray.pdf, page 2.
DECEMBER 12, 2022
Mary, friend and mother to all, through your Son, God has found a way to unite himself to every human being, called to be one people, sisters and brothers to each other.
We ask for your help in calling on your Son, seeking forgiveness for the times when we have failed to love and respect one another.
We ask for your help in obtaining from your Son the grace we need to overcome the evil of racism and to build a just society.
We ask for your help in following your Son, so that prejudice and animosity will no longer infect our minds or hearts but will be replaced with a love that respects the dignity of each person.
Mother of the Church, the Spirit of your Son Jesus warms our hearts: pray for us. Amen.
Prayer from Open Wide Our Hearts, the USCCB Pastoral Letter Against Racism (June 4, 2020), https://www.scd.org/news/prayer-overcome-racism.
DECEMBER 13, 2022
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."
“A Prayer for Awakening” from A Prayer Service for Racial Healing in Our Land, Saint Brigid Parish, San Diego, California, https://uploads.weconnect.com/mce/9a6b59da46371d86eb75259c956aee4b580c0119/EventFlyers/Racial%20Healing%20prayer%20service.pdf, page 1.
DECEMBER 14, 2022
How long, O Lord? The Advent season of waiting and watching seems too long to endure. The kin-dom you promise seems further than ever; the unity that we need and the peace that escapes us seem like pipe dreams and not tangible realities. We are especially mindful of the divisions among us, the differences that inspire fear and hatred, the structures that perpetuate poverty and oppression, the brokenness that somehow sees some as more worthy than others. How long, O Lord, will we be content with the world as it is?
When you called us to watch and wait, did you mean keep still? Or did you mean to live in hope as we seek to work in your Spirit to build the kin-dom you promise? Show us how to live your hope, work for your justice, and pray with our hands and our resources, as we wait for fulfillment. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. Amen.
Derek Weber, December 2022
DECEMBER 15, 2022
Almighty God, we confess that we have tried to run away and hide from you. We constantly deceive ourselves into thinking that we can live without you. We have made idols of our own achievements. We have treated other persons as though they did not bear your image. We have failed to enfold and include all persons within the outstretched and open arms of Jesus Christ, our Savior. And we have left undone those deeds of lovingkindness and godly justice that you want us to pursue in your name. Bring your Spirit upon us in a gracious, healing way. Make us agents of reconciliation as we live within your holy presence. Amen.
Prayer of Confession, 10th Anniversary Celebration of Full Communion between the Episcopal Church and the Northern and Southern Provinces of the Moravian Church (February 10, 2021), https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bTb_fguBnZJO2xLiPjwpLmSLWYeihNnA/view, page 4.
DECEMBER 16, 2022
God of all nations, who unites all through Christ Jesus, we come today asking that you would help us to remember and honor all of those who have fled their homes in the hope of safety elsewhere. For the mothers who have thought it better to leave with only what can be worn on their backs; for the fathers who are unable to rest for fear of violence directed at them or their loved ones; and for the children who don’t understand why they need to run in the first place: Lord we come asking for their protection, provision, and passage. Remind us that there is no “us” or “them,” because when one part of the body suffers, all members are affected. Lead us into deeper awareness of our neighbors at our southern border, and call us to greater action rooted in the sacrificial love of your Son, Jesus Christ, who didn’t just lay down his life for some, but for all out of your great love for us. It is in Jesus’ name that we pray. Amen.
Opening Prayer from the Migration Sunday Liturgy, Baltimore-Washington Conference, https://www.bwcumc.org/article/migration-sunday-order-of-worship/.
DECEMBER 19, 2022
Gracious, Holy, and Loving God,
We find ourselves in a time of great sorrow.
Because we are weary, we lament.
Because our hearts are broken, we lament.
Because our spirits are crushed, we lament.
Because our souls want to faint, we lament.
And when we lament, You are near.
When we lament, You are the Breath of life.
When we lament, You are the One that sustains us.
Thank You, Lord, that when we are weak, You are strong.
Thank You, Lord, that You are our help and our rescuer.
Thank You, Lord, that weeping moves us beyond sadness into compassion.
Thank You, Lord, that even in lament, You take delight in us.
Thank you for the gift of lament,
So that we do more than just regret our circumstances,
We also resolve to wait patiently on You to see us through.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Rev. Gigi A. Warren, Ordained Elder in The United Methodist Church, Board Member, General Commission On Religion and Race, Atlanta, GA, “Racial Justice Prayers of Lamentation,” https://www.r2hub.org/library/racial-justice-prayers-of-lamentation.
DECEMBER 20, 2022
you are righteous and love justice:
stir the hearts of your people that,
rejoicing in our diversity,
we may repent of the wrongs of the past,
and, by your grace, seek the peaceable kingdom of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
“A Collect for Racial Justice Sunday,” Liturgical Resources for Racial Justice Sunday, Church of England, https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/worship-texts-and-resources/liturgical-resources-racial-justice-sunday.
DECEMBER 21, 2022
Today is the Winter Solstice, God of the machinery of creation. In ancient times, much was made of this longest night or shortest day event. But now we have conquered the night with lights and the rhythm of resting and waking with twenty-four-hour work schedules and a relentless drive to produce regardless of the hour. But maybe it is time for us to embrace darkness as the gift that it is and to rid ourselves of the binaries of light and dark that cause us to be suspicious of those whose skin is dark like the night. Maybe a part of our fear of the other is rooted in our rush to dispel the night and let our whole experience be a daytime life.
Help us on this longest night. May we learn to live in harmony with the sun and moon, with light and dark, with all the people who inhabit our world, so that together we may see our way into the kin-dom. In Christ’s name. Amen.
Derek Weber, December 2022
DECEMBER 22, 2022
Almighty God, Source of all that is, Giver of every good gift: You create all people in your image and call us to love one another as you love us. We confess that we have failed to honor you in the great diversity of the human family. We have desired to live in freedom, while building walls between ourselves and others. We have longed to be known and accepted for who we are, while making judgments of others based on the color of skin, or the shape of features, or the varieties of human experience. We have tried to love our neighbors individually while yet benefitting from systems that hold those same neighbors in oppression.
Forgive us, Holy God. Give us eyes to see you as you are revealed in all people. Strengthen us for the work of reconciliation rooted in love. Restore us in your image, to be beloved community, united in our diversity, even as you are one with Christ and the Spirit, Holy and undivided Trinity, now and forever. Amen.
From “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, page 2.
DECEMBER 23, 2022
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.
The #CandleOfJustice Prayer – CTBI’s Director of Inclusion Richard Reddie and CTE’s Principal Officer for Pentecostal, Charismatic and Multi-cultural Relations, Shermara Fletcher, “Daily Prayers for Racial Justice,” Churches Together in Cornwall InfoHub, https://www.ctcinfohub.org/daily-prayers-for-racial-justice-23-30-may.
DECEMBER 26, 2022
Emmanuel, God with us, we rejoice in the promise of this season and lean into the grace of the child who was born among us, and the man who taught us, and the Savior who redeemed us. We bask in the afterglow of Christmas with contentment and with joy, even though we are tired from the excesses of preparation and celebration.
We also celebrate with those who mark these after-Christmas days with a tradition named Kwanzaa, a recapturing of African heritage within African American culture. We can give thanks for who we are by remembering from whom we have come and the traditions that have shaped a people.
We stand in solidarity, too, with our Jewish brothers and sisters who are concluding Hanukkah today. For eight days. the story was told, and the candles have been lit also as a way of remembering and of claiming heritage and home.
There are those who claim that “happy holidays” is somehow a war on Christmas. Rather, let it be a way of celebrating with, of crossing lines of difference with shared hope and joy. May this holiday season be one of unity and peace, of justice and hope, and an end to racism and antisemitism. We thank you for the gift of remembering and rejoicing together. In the name of the one who celebrates with us. Amen.
Derek Weber, December 2022
DECEMBER 27, 2022
Hear our prayers, Holy God. Breathe your Spirit over us and all the earth, that barriers would crumble and divisions cease. Make us more fully your co-healers of the broken world. Unite us with all people in bonds of love, that the whole earth and all its peoples may be at peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
All Saints Episcopal Church, Portsmouth, Ohio, http://allsaintsportsmouth.org/racial-reconciliation-and-justice/.
DECEMBER 28, 2022
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, “Prayer: Please, Lord, Break Every Chain,” Washington Hill United Methodist Church, Chattanooga, TN, https://www.holston.org/story/prayer-15197943.
DECEMBER 29, 2022
We pray for an end to prejudice throughout our country and the world; that we respect all people as precious children of God; and that racism, sexism, and all other forms of discrimination will be forever banished from our hearts, our society, and our laws.
God of fellowship and equality, Hear our prayer.
Excerpted from Litany for Social Justice, The Episcopal Church, https://www.episcopalchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/04/Litany-for-Social-Justice.pdf, page 8.
DECEMBER 30, 2022
For the sake of the names we have held in prayer.
For the sake of the names we will never hear.
For the sake of the lives of the people who were known by these names.
For the sake of all our children and all of us, whose futures are inextricably linked.
For the sake of the necessary work to be done for all your children.
For the sake of the one whose sacrificial love redefines our understanding of divinity and discloses the meaning of our humanity.
We pray, we act, we live. Amen.
“Blessing” From Prayer Liturgy, Second Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis, IN, https://www.secondchurch.org/attachments/Prayer%20Liturgy%20-%20June%202020.pdf, page 6.