Home Worship Planning Preaching Resources Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism (October-December 2023)

Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism (October-December 2023)

OCTOBER 2, 2023

“O God of infinite mercy, we live in a land where the native peoples were moved, often by force, from the bountiful lands they inhabited to places of desolation. Help us to support them now as they seek to retain their rich native cultures. Open our eyes to the poverty and despair that so often accompany them through life, and give us the courage and will to change the systems that perpetuate injustice, for the sake of your Son our Lord.” Amen.

“Prayer for Justice and Mercy for Indigenous Peoples, October,” A Year of Prayers to End Racism, the Diocesan Commission to End Racism, pages 3-4, https://www.episcopalchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/08/AYearofPrayertoEndRacism.pdf.

OCTOBER 3, 2023

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

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

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

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

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

For this faith community, that we may hear the call of our leaders in the new Pastoral Letter against Racism to respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to act together to end violence and racism, let us pray to the Lord.

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

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

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

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

“Prayers of the Faithful Against Racism,” Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida, https://www.dosp.org/racialharmony/pray/prayers-of-the-faithful-against-racism.

OCTOBER 4, 2023

God of mercy and compassion,

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

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

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


Jo Cecilio, rector at the University of Notre Dame, “A Prayer for Racial Justice,” https://grottonetwork.com/keep-the-faith/prayer/prayer-against-racism.

OCTOBER 5, 2023

It is autumn, God of seasons and creation, almost everyone’s favorite time of year. In some parts of the world, we break the hold of the sweltering summer heat and watch the flora and fauna prepare for a winter to come. There is beauty all around us, when we have eyes to see and the patience to watch. The subtle changes of color on the trees around us herald a promise of change and a call to prepare. We give thanks for the quiet display of nature and ask that you revive our hearts as you bless our eyes and our souls with this beauty.

Train us to see beauty in the array of colors and stir up a response of gratitude and joy when we see the diversity of hue in the human canvas as well. May we learn to give thanks for those who are different from us and be inspired to surround ourselves with the full tapestry you have created of us all. Help us be a panorama of beauty by which others might find hope and solace in divided times. In Christ’s name, amen.

Derek Weber, September 2023

OCTOBER 6, 2023

Dios, gracias por las manos oprimidas de nuestras agricultores y agricultoras, tanto en los Estados Unidos continentales como en Puerto Rico.
Rogamos por justicia para tu pueblo oprimido por las personas en el poder.
Que tengan el alimento de cada día; aunque sean sus manos las que lo cultivan.
Haznos instrumento tuyo para consolar a los que lloran y que seamos agentes de justicia en este mundo dañado por el pecado de la avaricia.
Entrega a los puertorriqueños y los inmigrantes el fruto de su trabajo.
Que ni la tierra ni los seres humanos sean explotados jamás.
Que venga tu reino.

God, thank you for the hands of the oppressed - our farmers in the continental United States and in Puerto Rico.
We pray for justice for your people oppressed by those in power.
May they have daily food; even when it is their own hands that grow it.
Make us your instruments to comfort those who mourn and may we be agents of justice in this world damaged by the sin of greed.
Give to Puerto Ricans and to immigrants the fruit of their labor.
May neither the earth nor human beings ever be exploited.
Let your kingdom come.

Prayer for Hispanic Heritage Month, Bread for the World, email, https://www.bread.org/pray.

OCTOBER 9, 2023

We are struggling with our past these days, God of history and of future. We want to celebrate our heroes, explorers, and risk-takers like Columbus. We want him and his desire to discover to represent something essential about the “American dream.” The problem is, the more we learn, the more we realize that this conquering, land-claiming, indigenous-people-conquering desire does represent something about who we have been as a people. And we are ashamed and then want to change.

So, let our prayer be not that we want to change our history, but that we want to change our present. Let us on this day honor indigenous people around the world and in our own country. And let us honor them by repenting our former treatment and working for justice today. Let our hope be for your kingdom and for our kin-dom within your vision for all people now and forever. Amen.

Derek Weber, October 2023

OCTOBER 10, 2023

Healing God, we bring to you our prayers for all people who have left their homelands. For refugees and stateless people; for migrants who want to restart their life in a new land; and for people who have been dispossessed of their homelands that were part of their heritage. We pray for all people who yearn to return to their former homelands, but are prevented from that by hostile or indifferent powers or changed circumstances. We pray for people whose traditions, religious and social cultures have been, or are being, destroyed by thoughtless authorities. We pray for people who have no understanding or the necessary language of their new surroundings; for asylum seekers who know that they are not always welcome in their new situation, and who receive little encouragement.

Welcoming God, we pray that you will be a new home - an eternal home - for all these troubled people that offers them hospitality and comfort; and teach us your own welcoming ways, so that we can all sing the songs of the Lord with sensitivity and heartfelt thanks. Amen.

Joan Stott, “Prayers of Lament and Petition, Pentecost 20 C” (2013), the Timeless Psalms, http://www.thetimelesspsalms.net/w_resources/pentecost20[27]c_2013.htm.

OCTOBER 11, 2023

As we observe the pain of a fractured world, use your love to drive us from sadness to compassion; as we watch the pain of the bereaved, use your love to move us from pity to companionship; as we are faced with the pain of marginalised people, use your love to point us from complacency to your commonwealth.

In our praying, let us not just talk to you, but yield to your love;

in our anger, let us not just rail against injustice, but manifest your love;

in our actions, let us not just flail about aimlessly, but build the civilisation of love.

Until none of us are disregarded for who we are nor any diminished by what we fail to be, we keep on praying in the name of Jesus Christ,


Excerpted from a prayer by Karen Campbell, Derek Estill, and Nigel Uden of the United Reformed Church, UK, https://worshipwords.co.uk/in-our-praying-anger-and-action-a-prayer-from-the-united-reformed-church-in-great-britain.

OCTOBER 12, 2023

God of our past, present and future, you created each one of us in your image and likeness, help us to recognise you in each person.

As we pray for an end to suffering caused by racism, lead us this day to walk with one another, pray with one another, and work together, so that we create a future based on justice and healing, where all can fulfill the hope you have for all peoples.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Prayers for Racial Justice, Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, https://cafod.org.uk/pray/prayer-resources/prayers-for-racial-justice.

OCTOBER 13, 2023

God of freedom, we pray for our nation, and all the nations of the world: For peace and unity across barriers of language, color, and creed; for elected and appointed leaders, that they would serve the common good. Inspire all people with courage to speak out against hatred, to actively resist evil. Unite the human family in bonds of love.

God of freedom,

Hear our prayers for the world.

Silence — Add your prayers, silently or in your hearts

God of justice, we pray for the earth, your creation entrusted to our care: For the animals and birds, the mountains and oceans, and all parts of your creation that have no voice of their own. Stir up in us a thirst for justice that protects the earth and all its resources, that we may leave to our children’s children the legacy of beauty and abundance that you have given us.

God of justice,

Hear our prayers for the earth.

Silence — Add your prayers, silently or in your hearts

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.

Excerpted from Prayers of the People for Racial Reconciliation, Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis, https://indydio.org/2019/02/prayers-of-the-people-for-racial-reconciliation-created-by-standing-commission-on-liturgy-and-music-subcommittee-on-racial-reconciliation.

OCTOBER 16, 2023

Wake us up, Lord, so that the evil of racism finds no home within us. Keep watch over our hearts, Lord, and remove from us any barriers to your grace that may oppress and offend our brothers and sisters. Fill our voice, Lord, with the strength to cry freedom. Free our spirits, Lord, so we may give services of justice and peace. Clear our minds, Lord, and use them for your glory. And finally, remind us, Lord, that you said “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.

Anti-Racism, Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters, https://www.sinsinawa.org/peace-justice/anti-racism.

OCTOBER 17, 2023

Give us eyes to see the deepest needs of people.
Give us hearts full of love for our neighbors as well as for the strangers we meet.
Help us understand what it means to love others as we love ourselves.
Teach us to care in a way that strengthens those who are sick.
Fill us with generosity so we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and give drink to the thirsty.
Let us be a healing balm to those who are weak and lonely and weary by offering our kindness to them.
May we remember to listen, to smile, to offer a helping hand each time the opportunity presents itself.
Give us hearts of courage that we will be brave enough to risk loving our enemy.
Inspire us to go out of our way to include those in the margins.
Help us to be welcoming and inclusive to all who come to our door.
Let us be God’s hospitality in the world.

Prayer of Hospitality, Grace Rules Weblog,https://gracerules.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/prayer-for-the-week-let-us-be-gods-hospitality-in-the-world.

OCTOBER 18, 2023

The Stranger Next Door

The world was stunned by the rockets that flew into Israel, God of all peoples. We stand with our allies, even as we weep for the outcast, the marginalized, the oppressed. We ache for the casualties, for the threatened, for the abused and neglected. We pray, humbly and anxiously, for peace and an end to violence.

Help us, Lord, to resist the urge to suggest simple solutions for complex problems. Help us understand that further hatred – blaming and shaming – won’t bring resolution, won’t bring safety. Show us the way to stand for justice and for peace, for mercy and for reconciliation, even when it all seems so far away. Show us how to hope even now. Remind us that we all live in a shrinking world neighborhood and that we could, if we had the will, learn to live in peace with the stranger next door. Have mercy on us. Amen.

Derek Weber, October 2023

OCTOBER 19, 2023

Comforting God, You are the eternal refuge of the helpless, providing peace and hope under the shadows of your wings. We long to demonstrate sincere compassion that reflects your character. Enable us to embrace the stranger and listen to the refugee on his journey. May our presence be a reminder of your love and guidance in the midst of darkness.


Dios Consolador, Tú eres el refugio eterno de los desamparados, brindando paz y esperanza bajo las sombras de tus alas. Anhelamos demostrar una compasión sincera que refleje tu carácter. Capacítanos para abrazar al extranjero y escuchar al refugiado en su camino. Que nuestra presencia sea un recordatorio de tu amor y guía en medio de la oscuridad.


Elket Rodríguez, Bread for the World’s Prayer for Hispanic Heritage Month, https://go.bread.org/page/39624/subscribe/1?utm_medium=email&utm_source=engagingnetworks&utm_campaign=2023+HHM+Prayer+4&utm_content=2023+HHM+Prayer+4&ea.url.id=2035160.

OCTOBER 20, 2023

Creator, open our hearts to peace and healing between all people.

Creator, open our hearts to provide and protect for all children of the earth.

Alycia Longriver Davis, Prayer of the Day email from Sojourners, https://sojo.net.

OCTOBER 30, 2023

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. Amen

Prayer for Social Justice, Weekly Prayers from Christ Church Anchorage, https://www.christchurchanchorage.org/weekly%20prayers.pdf.

OCTOBER 31, 2023

Happy Halloween, God of the living and of the dead. I know that observing days and seasons is our thing and not necessarily yours. Still, I want to ask whether you think we’ve gone a bit overboard on this one. Halloween has become an industry, and it is built on stoking the fears that reside within each of us – fear of the other, fear of violence against us, and ultimately fear of the unknown and of the pain of death. Maybe I’m overreacting to what is just harmless fun, but it feels as though there is something sinister lurking here – that same something that is dividing us, turning unity into us and them.

Please help us, God of all, to not be thrilled by fear but to rejoice in difference and in hope. Help us be those who trust in your promises of eternity and learn to embrace today with a zeal for living and heart for including. In the name of the one who died and yet lives, Jesus our Christ. Amen.

Derek Weber, October 2023

NOVEMBER 1, 2023

For all the saints who from their labors rest,
who Thee by faith before the world confessed;
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

“For All the Saints,” William Walsham How

This is the day, O God of presence, when we remember and give thanks for those who have been a light to us and to the world. These are the ones we no longer see but whose influence reverberates through us and the body of believers throughout the world. Some of those we remember are precious members of our personal families. Others are ones whom we have read or heard about. It is a blessed day and a blessed remembrance for us to celebrate this All-Saints Day and be thankful for those who have helped us, directly or indirectly, live our faith each and every day. Thank you for making yourself known through them in various ways.

But on this day, let us enlarge our circle. Let us remember saints who have contributed to the cause of Christ in other lands and with other peoples. Let us be reminded that not all the saints look like us, but instead look like the tapestry of color and culture that is your kin-dom. Let us give thanks for those who have challenged us to see you in different faces and hear you in different languages and accents. O God of all peoples and all time, let us celebrate the people – all the people – who have built your church. Amen and amen.

Derek Weber, October 2023

NOVEMBER 2, 2023

There has been a tradition, God of eternity, where today is observed as All Souls Day. It seems to be a way of remembering those who may not have made it to saint status. We can’t help but wonder if this is an opportunity to move into a different space as we remember those no longer with us. Our Hispanic neighbors brought an observance that might help us. Yesterday and today are called Dia de los Muertos, the day of the dead. It is a way of remembering all of those who are precious to us and who live in our memories. Perhaps this way we can avoid the questions only you can answer about eternity. And we can simply remember. Perhaps this is a way we can overcome the things that divide us, that make us think in camps or tribes and allow us to simply remember and give thanks for life and for those whom we have met on our journey through this world. Help us, God of all peoples and all time, be respectful of those who may not share our faith but are neighbors in this life. May we be a witness to your goodness and grace by how we remember and how we live in harmony, even with those who are different from us. Give us the grace of hospitality with the living and the dead. In your name. Amen.

Derek Weber, October 2023

NOVEMBER 3, 2023

Save us, O God, from ourselves,
from racism often cloaked in pious words,
from the machinations of white supremacy hidden in calls for civility,
from micro aggressions thinly veiled in arrogance,
from apologies when they don’t give way to action,
from forgiveness without facing the truth,
from reconciliation without reparation.

Deliver us, O God, from expecting siblings of color to continue to bear this emotional work,
which is not theirs to do.
Grateful for the long arc that bends toward justice, we pray:
Grant us wisdom, give us courage for the facing of these days,
by the power of the Spirit, all for the sake of the kin-dom that we share in Christ Jesus.


“Prayer for Racial Justice,” Worship Resources for the Day of Racial Healing, ELCA, pages 5-6, https://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Worship_Resources_for_Day_of_Racial_Healing.pdf.

NOVEMBER 6, 2023

“God of compassion and justice, help us in this age of great division and polarization to learn the art of civil discourse and compassionate listening with those who worship you through other religions; particularly our Jewish, Muslim, and Hindi brothers and sisters. Guide us to recognize your image even in the faces of those who do not remind us of ourselves, looking past our differences to find our common interests and goals, that we may work together to bring healing to a broken world.” Amen.

A Year of Prayers to End Racism, The Episcopal Church, page 4, https://www.episcopalchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/08/AYearofPrayertoEndRacism.pdf.

NOVEMBER 7, 2023

Creator God, open our hearts to the love and light in all of our brothers and sisters. Open our minds to empty ourselves of racial stereotypes. Help us to see difference as a treasure. Give us the grace to embrace one another so that one day we will be transformed and no longer strangers but united as one family, the family of God. Provide for us the strength to live in this hope and do this work in Mercy. Amen.

Sisters of Mercy, http://www.mercymidatlantic.org/Anti-RacismPrayer.pdf.

NOVEMBER 8, 2023

“Dangerous Hope.” I saw that phrase recently, God of today and tomorrow. It was an article about a sports team, of all things, whose terrible season might have just turned because of one rookie player who stepped up. It was dangerous to hope, it seemed, because there might be disappointment ahead--implying it might be better to stay cynical. It’s safer anyway. Hedge your bets, think negatively, and prepare for the worst. That seems to be the way we are all living these days. We’re drawing our lines, building our walls, and keeping away from the stranger and those not like us.

Yet you call us to hope. You call us to live into the promise of kin-dom. You invite us to seek first the kingdom of heaven right here where we live. Did you mean to ask us to live dangerously? Did you mean to ask us to risk living in hope? And the real danger is not that we might be disappointed – we live in disappointment. The real danger is that we might have to – need to – get to—change. We might be the one who steps us and tears down the walls and embraces the stranger and turns around a terrible season. It might be us. It might be now. Dangerous indeed.

Help us hope again, God of promise. Help us live dangerously. Amen.

Derek Weber, October 2023

NOVEMBER 9, 2023

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.

“Juneteenth Prayers,” Jesuitresource.org, https://www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/prayer-index/juneteenth-prayers.

NOVEMBER 10, 2023

O God,
Storms rise.
Wars rage.
Hunger spreads like wildfire.
Cooperation comes to a screeching halt.
And it seems that the world is crumbling around us.

But in the resurrection we are promised something new.

The sun is dark.
The curtain tears.
Evil seems to have won.
And yet death is overcome.
New life emerges from a tomb.

God, we trust that in the crumbling
You have a plan for new life.
We have seen it again and again.
We believe. Help our unbelief.
In Jesus’ name, we pray.

Prayers to End Hunger, Bread for the World, https://www.bread.org/es/dios-es-nuestro-amparo-y-fortaleza/.

NOVEMBER 13, 2023

Battered, Broken, Betrayed.
I stand Before you
Between the lines
Breathe on me, Breath of God

Because I have Betrayed
My Brother and sister
By my silence
Breathe on me, Breath of God

But what is Breath
when it is stolen
Humanity Beyond recognition
Buried in Blood

Bring us transformation
Beauty for Brokenness
Expose me for my blindness
Breathe on me the breath to see

Be Brave and Bold
Beyond what others can see
So when I can’t Breathe
God, Breathe on me

When I cannot see my Betrayal
Bring me to the light
I Beg for the wisdom to Be Better
Bless me with the strength
to never stop Becoming

Beyond the patience to listen
Bring me into action
I can’t Breathe
So God, Breathe through me

Leah Wenger, “Breathe on Me,” Prayers of Lament, Mennonite Church USA, https://www.mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/lament-violence-of-racism.

NOVEMBER 14, 2023

Pastor: Jesus Christ, bread of life:
You fed thousands with a few loaves and fishes.
Congregation: You created abundance out of scarcity; the people shared.
All: Help us to trust in your abundance and share what you have given.

P: While we seek food that spoils and leaves us empty.
C: You fill us with what never perishes; in you, we have eternal life.
A: Help us to seek souls full of love and be satisfied.

P: We seek that which will never satisfy: power, wealth, status
C: We set a table of separation, oppression, and violence; we dine on death.
A: You prepare a banquet of love, relationship, and peace; you feed us life.

P: You are the bread of life.
C: You feed us with your very flesh and blood.
A: Abide in us, as we abide in you, that we may be full and know everlasting life.

“Bread of Life Litany,” Disrupt Worship Project, https://www.disruptworshipproject.com/bread-of-life-litany.

NOVEMBER 15, 2023

I see sorrow and trouble in this land
Although there will be struggle we'll make the change we can.
If not now, tell me when.

Carrie Newcomer, “If Not Now,” © BMG Rights Management

Tell us when, God of a new heaven and a new earth, we will see true justice in our world. Tell us when differences will be a source of celebration and not a reason for suspicion and fear. Tell us when leaders are infused by Christlike humility and graciousness. Tell us when neighbors will be driven by hospitality and inclusion. Tell us when the fight for power over others, the desire to rise by putting others down, the drive to see oneself as better than others will come to an end. And tell me how to take another step on the journey toward this new reality. Let me be a part of the healing. Even if only in me. In Christ’s name. Amen.

Derek Weber, November 2023

NOVEMBER 16, 2023

Most merciful God,

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


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

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

Lord God, we are heartbroken at the injustice we see in the world around us. And we cry to you to intervene. We pray for the end of all violence and especially racial violence in our city and around the world. We pray for justice for all who have suffered or lost their lives at the hands of evil, and we pray that you would comfort all who mourn. May these recent deaths not lead to further escalations of violence. But may they provoke us to work for reconciliation and to work for peace with those whose hearts are filled with hatred towards others, be softened by your love, and may they come to repentance. I pray for all those who are feeling fearful today that you would comfort them. Where these stories caused deep hurt and fear, Father, would you bring peace? Would you empower us your church to work against injustice in all its forms and build a community where everyone can feel welcomed, everyone can feel valued, safe and secure? We look forward to the new creation where we'll worship together as multitudes from every tribe and tongue. And we pray that our world would get to experience a glimpse of that even now. May your kingdom come; may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

A Prayer for an End to Racism, Christ Church, London, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM4TXzD97DI.

NOVEMBER 20, 2023

Right: O God, we confess our day-to-day failure to be truly a good neighbor.

All: We confess to you.

Left: O God, we confess that we fail to love extravagantly because we don’t fully understand what loving means, and because we are afraid of risking ourselves.

All: We confess to you.

Right: O God, we cut ourselves off from those in communities and around the world, and we erect barriers of division.

All: We confess to you.

Left: O God, we confess that by silence and ill-considered word

All: We have built walls of prejudice.

Right: O God, we confess that we have sought out own security first.

All: We have blamed others for their struggle for security.

Left: O God, we confess that we have denied the reality of the pain of racism

All: Even when it confronts us. Holy Spirit, speak to us. Help us hear your words of forgiveness, for we are deaf. Come fill this moment and show us the path of the Samaritan. Amen.

Elmira Nazombe, “Prayer of Confession,” Resources for Racial Justice: Tools for UMW Leaders, Racial Justice Program, Women’s Division-GBGM, United Methodist Church, 2006, 32, https://wnccumw.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Racial-Justice-Manual.pdf.

NOVEMBER 21, 2023

We believe in the Reign of God – the day of the Great Fiesta

When all the colors of creation will form a harmonious rainbow,

When all peoples will join in joyful banquet,

When all tongues of the universe will sing the same song.

We believe. Amen.

Dr. Justo Gonzalez, cited in Charter Resource Book, Women’s Division, GBGM, United Methodist Church, November 1998, Resources for Worship (loose-leaf binder).

NOVEMBER 22, 2023

Father, Bless us as we strive to find our way to true racial reconciliation.

Open our eyes to all that goes on around us that contributes to racial injustice.

Grant us the knowledge to understand all that we do, both personally and as a society, which prevents us from recognizing and defending the dignity of all of our brothers and sisters, and especially at this time, our brothers and sisters of color who are now feeling so much pain.

Grant us the grace to reflect on our own actions and inactions that contribute to this pain.

And grant us the strength to take action to alleviate this pain and to end racial injustice in all its forms.

In your name, we pray.

Written and offered by Phil Chick, Prayers for Racial Justice and Reconciliation, https://www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/prayer-index/prayers-for-racial-justice-and-reconciliation#:~:text=To%20End%20Racism,-O%20Lord%20our&text=Fill%20us%20with%20your%20mercy,rhythm%20of%20your%20holy%20will.

NOVEMBER 23, 2023

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. - Colossians 3:15 NRSV

And be thankful. It seems like an afterthought, God of abundance and of grace. Oh, we say to ourselves, we forgot to be thankful. We nudge our kids, “What do you say?” as we hope that they will come up with the right words to say to the gift-giver. We struggle to be grateful to those close to us, to our own families at times. Help us with that this Thanksgiving Day.

But that’s the easy part, isn’t it? As much as we struggle, being thankful to those we love is easier than remembering to be thankful to those faceless many who serve us and provide for us in ways we rarely acknowledge. The migrant who labors in the fields to put food on our tables is labeled as an enemy and a threat to our security. The cleaners in our hotel rooms and office buildings are often objects of suspicion when something goes wrong or missing. The cab or Uber drivers we can barely understand arouse in us fear and uncertainty instead of gratitude.

Open our eyes, Ever-present Lord, to opportunities to be grateful. Let us lead with thanksgiving; let us be known for gratitude, not just on this day but in all our living. For the peace of Christ can rule in a grateful heart. Our grateful hearts. Thank you. Amen.

Derek Weber, November 2023

NOVEMBER 24, 2023

Today, many in the US are not just basking in the excesses of an abundant Thanksgiving meal but embarking on a newer ritual activity we call Black Friday, which will be followed by an even newer phenomenon called Cyber Monday. Predictions are that 3.5 million dollars will be spent each minute during these two events. That should give us pause, God who sees our hearts. Surely finding a good deal is a good thing. Surely giving gifts to loved ones is a good thing. But … is it even possible to celebrate the birth of a child laid in a manger and redeemed with the offering of the poor in the temple with such excess?

I am too complicit in this consumer culture to rail against it. But I pray for a sense of perspective and a lifeline of hope. How can I, how can we, use the power we have to make strides toward a semblance of your kingdom? How can this vast wealth, so unevenly distributed, be used to lift up those who have been pushed aside, to give life where disease and hunger are the lot of so many, to find peace where violence is so prevalent?

I may not be strong enough to pray for an overthrow of our materialist way of life, but give me strength to pray for justice, for peace, for kin-dom, for hope. Help me reach across the barrier of economics to find loved ones I never even knew. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Derek Weber, November 2023

NOVEMBER 27, 2023

Cyber Monday

How shall I spend my money, God of abundance? Or is it arrogance to assume that it matters to you what I do? In the larger scheme of things, my little bit doesn’t seem to matter too much. Where my dollars go won’t change the world when we talk in terms of trillions as a matter of course. So, I can just click and buy on this Cyber Monday without a care in the world.

Except that each click is not so anonymous. Each purchase adds to the bottom line somewhere. So, guide my thoughts, guide my choices, guide my clicks this day and any day, God, who casts a vision of beloved community. Let me take a moment to see who my purchase supports. Let me consider the businesses I am helping to thrive and grow – local, minority-owned, green-inclined – whatever my priorities in living, let them be evident in my buying. May even my commerce bring glory to you and kin-dom you proclaim. Amen.

Derek Weber, November 2023

NOVEMBER 28, 2023

Giving Tuesday

Benevolent One,

Why should I need a hashtag to remind myself to be generous? Maybe because I’m not very good at it. Maybe because I tend to look inward, to feel inward, to protect myself and my resources rather than share them, rather than give of myself. So, maybe some bandwagons are worth climbing onto. Maybe some movements are worth moving alongside.

Once again I ask you to help me consider to whom I will give. Open my eyes to patterns and prejudices and preferences in my donations. How can I use my giving to show my passion for a multicultural world? How can I support those efforts that are building bridges rather than walls? How can I ensure my pattern of philanthropy is many-colored and justice-driven? Help me, God of giving and of receiving, be generous enough to help a world respect and uplift. Help me love as you do. In Christ’s name. Amen.

Derek Weber, November 2023

NOVEMBER 29, 2023


Take fire and burn away our guilt and our lying hypocrisies.

Take water and wash away our sisters’ and brothers’ blood which we have caused to be shed.

Take hot sunlight and dry the tears of those we have hurt, and heal their wounded souls, minds, and bodies.

Take love and root it in our hearts, so that the sisterhood and brotherhood may grow, transforming the dry desert of our prejudices and hatreds.

Take our imperfect prayers and purify them, so that we mean what we pray and are prepared to give ourselves to you along with our words, through Jesus Christ, who did not disdain to take our humanness upon him and live among us sharing our life, our joys, and our pains.


Adapted from “Prayer of Repentance,” Malcolm Boyd, Are You Running With Me, Jesus?: Prayers by Malcolm Boyd (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965), 119.

NOVEMBER 30, 2023

Reconciling Lord, I turn to you asking for courage.
Today I have seen again the scars of racism.
I confess my awkward words, defending impulses, and retreating silence.
Strengthen my heart not to shrink before anger, disapproval, and fear.
Encourage my willingness to risk hearing, speaking, and living your truth.
May all of our particularities play a part in your creation of a new reality.
Use my small offerings in your work of healing and reconciliation. Amen.

Janice Johnson Hume, cited in Charter Resource Book, Women’s Division, GBGM, United Methodist Church, November 1998, Resources for Worship (loose-leaf binder).

DECEMBER 1, 2023

We confess our sin, individual and collective, by silence or action:

Through the violation of human dignity based on race, class, age, sex, nation, or faith;

Through the exploitation of people because of greed or indifference;

Through the misuse of power in personal, communal, national, and international life;

Through the search for security by those military and economic forces that threaten human existence;

Through the abuse of technology, which endangers the earth and all life upon it.

Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.

From Ceremonies IV, Women’s Division-GBGM, 2003, cited in United Methodist Church, Resources for Racial Justice, Tools for Leaders, 2006, 40.

DECEMBER 4, 2023

We are comfortable on our own. We risk little in our individual conversations with you, Lord. But you are God among us, God in our midst.

Help us open our hearts to each other. Help us to be vulnerable. We struggle to build bridges. It is so easy to turn our neighbors into “the other.” We choose to erect fences instead of setting bigger tables.

Teach us to see you in our lives, our days, our communities. We hear your word, and it challenges us. Strengthen us for your work on earth. Give us courage for transformation beyond our Thanksgiving tables this year, dear Jesus. Amen.

Adapted from Margaret Fenton Lebeck, “A Prayer for Transformation,” Exercising Faith: Spiritual Practice in Action, United Women in Faith 2023 Program Resource.

DECEMBER 5, 2023

I love it here, but, as you know, for some of the wrong reasons. I sometimes lose myself completely in the church service and forget the people outside whom you love. I sometimes draw far, far inside myself when I am in church, but people looking at me can see only my pious expression and imagine I am loving you instead of myself.

Help us, Lord, who claim to be your special people. Don’t let us feel privileged and selfish because you have called us to you. Teach us our responsibilities to you, our brother, and to all the people out there. Save us from the sin of loving religion instead of you.

“Here I Am in Church Again,” Malcolm Boyd, Are You Running With Me, Jesus?: Prayers by Malcolm Boyd (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965), 118.

DECEMBER 6, 2023

St. Nicholas Day

“Jolly Old St. Nicholas,” that’s the song we sing for this bishop of your church who has become an icon of this season, God who calls and gives abundantly. He was called the “boy bishop” because he was elevated so young, and he burned with a passion for justice and generosity, caring especially for the poor and for those imprisoned.

The machinery of the cultural observance of Christmas is too powerful for us to overcome with mere words. And we participate in it all more than we like to admit, God who sees. But maybe we can reclaim something of the power of incarnation if we emulate this familiar saint and live our faith in ways that build bridges and provide sustenance to those who are hurting today. Open our eyes, loving Christ, to see as Nicholas saw and so work with you to build your kingdom. Amen.

Derek Weber, November 2023

DECEMBER 7, 2023

What an odd quirk of the many calendars by which we live, God of all time and all remembrance, that this day is both Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and the beginning of Hanukkah. Is it just one of those odd occurrences, or can we find some lesson in the “day that will live in infamy” settling down next to the festival of light? At the risk of looking for meaning in all the wrong places, let me ask, “Can we hope?”

Perhaps it is an Advent question in the end. Do we dare to hope? Can we claim that light and life and joy win out over hatred and racism and prejudice? Does the arc of the universe actually bend toward justice, as Martin Luther King, Jr. so famously stated? Or is that a pipe dream?

Today, we remember the injustice of an act of war, and we honor those remaining few who were there. But we also, with our Jewish brothers and sisters, can light a light to signal the continued struggle to work toward freedom of faith and life. We can stand against the rising tide of violence and division and fear that is driving the public discourse today. We can be a source of and a voice for kin-dom and beloved community. So, help us, God of us all, to be a witness, to be a light for peace. In Christ’s name. Amen.

Derek Weber, November 2023

DECEMBER 8, 2023

O God we confess to you our failure to be a truly good neighbor.

We confess to you.

O God, we confess that we fail to love extravagantly because we do not fully understand what loving means, and because we are afraid of risking ourselves.

We confess to you.

O God, we cut ourselves off from those in our communities and around the world, and we erect barriers of division.

We confess to you.

O God, we confess that by silence and ill-considered word

We have built walls of prejudice.

O God, we confess that we have sought our own security first.

We have blamed others for their struggle for security.

O God, we confess that we have denied the reality of the pain of racism

Even when it confronts us. Holy Spirit, speak to us. Help us hear your words of forgiveness, for we are unhearing. Come fill this moment and show us the path of the Samaritan. Amen.

Adapted with permission from Prayer of Confession, p.893, The United Methodist Hymnal, cited in United Methodist Church, Resources for Racial Justice, Tools for Leaders, 2006, 32.

DECEMBER 11, 2023

Lord, close my mouth and open my ears, especially when I’m around those who are hurting. Help me to listen, not to reply or defend or discount, but to truly hear and understand. May I be a safe place where my wounded, frightened, and even angry brothers and sisters can share their whole selves, openly and honestly and without filters. And may I listen so intently that I hear not just their words, but also their heart and hurts beneath them.

Jennifer Slattery “Day 3: God Help Me to Listen,” Ending Racism: 30-Day Prayer Challenge, page 3 (pdf download), https://www.ibelieve.com/faith/day-anti-racism-prayer-challenge.html.

DECEMBER 12, 2023

Creator, we have offended you by our words and our actions. We have failed to live righteously. We have cast our personal judgment on others while ignoring your justice. Help us to do what is right, to seek justice for the oppressed, to care for the orphan, the widow, the prisoner, and those oppressed in other ways.

Help us to cease doing evil while we utter your Name. May we fully accept the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, that we may be cleansed, body, mind, soul, and spirit. It is in His name that we ask all these things. Amen.

Vince Gonzales, GCORR Board Member, UMC Council of Bishops Ecumenical Representative, Princeton, Texas, cited in “Racial Justice Prayers of Repentance,” https://www.r2hub.org/library/racial-justice-prayers-of-repentance.

DECEMBER 13, 2023

What am I forgetting, God of all time and this time? I have lists and schedules and events and responsibilities aplenty. And I rush from one to the next; I examine this potential gift and that one; I nod and smile at the people passing in the aisles and on the street, trying to maintain a sense of Christmas cheer even while the obligations begin to weigh upon me, heavier with every step, more burdensome with every passing hour. It is so hard to hold on to a sense of equilibrium, especially in the face of that nagging sense that I’m forgetting something.

What drives me, I’m afraid, are the things that revolve around me – duties and obligations as well as blessings and opportunities. What might be forgotten is the Advent call to watch and wait; to look beyond myself, to see the world that you love enough to be born for. Open my eyes for the sign of your presence, for the chance to meet you anew in the face of those I overlook in my rush to fulfill the duties of the season. Let me see moments of interaction and engagement not as interruptions but as a call to grace when I encounter my brothers and my sisters of every hue. Help me not forget to whom I belong. Amen.

Derek Weber, December 2023

DECEMBER 14, 2023

When the earth is sick and dying,
There will come a tribe of people
From all races…
Who will put their faith in deeds,
Not words, and make the planet
Green again…

Cree Prophecy, ”The Journey,” Ways You Can Help: A Parish Guide, Social Justice and Anti-Racism Commission, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Mt. Lebanon, Pittsburg, PA, page 8, https://www.stpaulspgh.org/uploads/images/sjar-parish-guide-first-draft_680.pdf.

DECEMBER 15, 2023

Jesus, You have taught us to protect those who struggle to defend themselves. As I see racism across the country, I know I have a duty to stand up for what is right. Grant me the strength to act. Help me alleviate the pain in our minority communities and end racial injustice in all its forms. God, you invite us to love our neighbors, and I know to truly do that I must take the necessary actions to become a good ally. Help enable me to see the reality of racism in my own community and guide me to uproot it! In Your name, I pray, Amen!

“A Prayer for Action,” Prayers for Ending Racism, https://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/prayer/prayers-for-ending-racism.aspx.

DECEMBER 18, 2023

God, you created us in your own image and loved us regardless of our race and tribe. You said in 1 John 44:20, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.’”

We seek your forgiveness, dear God, because we have lied to our brothers and sisters, saying that we love them when, in fact, we have segregated them. Dear Jesus, help us love one another regardless of race or tribe. Teach us to love unconditionally. Teach us to know that through Jesus Christ, we are one tribe, one race, and one in Christ.

We thank you, Lord, that you loved us first. May your grace enable us to love one another. In Jesus Christ’s name, we pray. AMEN.

Juliet Nabukalu, Coordinator of Women’s Ministries, East Africa Annual Conference and Kireka United Methodist Church, Kampala, Uganda, “We Are One Tribe, One Race,” Racial Prayers of Remembrance, Religion and Race, https://www.r2hub.org/library/racial-justice-prayers-of-repentance.

DECEMBER 19, 2023

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, “Day 7: Help Me See the Beauty in Diversity,” Ending Racism: 30-Day Prayer Challenge, page 9 (pdf download), https://www.ibelieve.com/faith/day-anti-racism-prayer-challenge.html.

DECEMBER 20, 2023

We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end war;
For we know that You have made the world in a way that people must find their own path to
peace within themselves and with their neighbors.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end starvation;
For You have already given us the resources with which to feed the entire world, if we would
only use them wisely.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to root out prejudice;
For You have already given us eyes with which to see the good in all people, if we would only
use them rightly.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end despair;
For You have already given us the power to clear away slums and to give hope, if we would only
use our power justly.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end disease;
For You have already given us great minds with which to search out cures and healing, if we
would only use them constructively.

Therefore, we pray to You instead, O God, for strength, determination, and will power,
To do instead of just pray,
To become instead of merely to wish.

Jack Reimer, Social Justice Resource Center, ”Prayer for Action,” Ways You Can Help: A Parish Guide, Social Justice and Anti-Racism Commission, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Mt. Lebanon, Pittsburg, PA, pages 8-9, https://www.stpaulspgh.org/uploads/images/sjar-parish-guide-first-draft_680.pdf.

DECEMBER 21, 2023

Whether we call it the Longest Night, or Midwinter, or the Winter Solstice, this day is significant, God of times and seasons. Sometimes we mark this day by remembering what we’ve lost. We mourn the loved ones who no longer sit beside us at the table. We are shaken by the uncertainties of a troubling economy. We grieve the certainties of the faith we once had. We fear the future of a world torn by violence and environmental decay. We weep for the fear and prejudice that divide us and those who stoke that brokenness with conspiracy and innuendo. There are far too many reasons on this longest night to be lost from the light that this season brings. Speak to us, God of hope and of promise, we who have lost the reasons to be jolly in this festive time.

Help us who are lost in this longest night, Lord who is Emmanuel - God with us. Remind us of the promise of this night, the lengthening of daylight hours. We pray that like the slow but sure return of light, hope may grow anew in us, grace may arise in us, peace may be born between us until all people see the beloved community in each and every face. Walk with us, God of the longest night, into a new day of hope. Amen.

Derek Weber, December 2023

DECEMBER 22, 2023

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

Draft prayer for Presbyterian Book of Worship, page 2, https://facing-racism.pcusa.org/site_media/media/uploads/facing_racism/resources/bcw_excerpts_justice_and_reconciliation.pdf.

DECEMBER 25, 2023

Twelve Days of Christmas: Day One

On this first day of Christmas, Emmanuel – God with us, we don’t need a partridge in a pear tree. Unless that partridge is you. Is that what we’ve been singing all these years? Babe in a manger equals partridge in a pear tree? We tend to find hidden meanings in places where they don’t really exist. So, maybe this song isn’t a secret catechism teaching us about the faith. It’s just a kids’ mildly annoying counting song, right? Right.

Except that maybe part of this prayer thing is teaching us to see beyond the surface of things into a deeper truth, a more profound connection. We need to learn to see the divinity in the flesh in front of us. So, let us walk, in this week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, with this song in our hearts and glory in our eyes as we look for signs of the breaking in of the kin-dom and the beloved community we long to know.

Glory to the one whose face we long to see this Christmas season. Amen.

Derek Weber, December 2023

DECEMBER 26, 2023

Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Two

Two turtledoves. Why so many birds? We’re already beginning to wonder, God of Christmas season and the journey to Epiphany. Some say it was an offering of sustenance, which is an appropriate gift in the harsh wintertime. Those I love, I will feed. For those in my care, I will provide. In some traditions, today is Boxing Day, which is said to represent sharing the excess with those who serve. Boxing up the leftovers and giving the day to feast and rest.

But more than simple charity, the turtledoves suggest commitment, faithfulness, and love. We’re being asked for something beyond handouts. You want us invested in one another. You want us to see fellow human beings worthy of our love and dedication. Help us, God of the other as much as ourselves, to give and serve and love with our whole hearts. With a turtledove-level of caring. In the name of the one who loved us like that. Amen.

Derek Weber, December 2023

DECEMBER 27, 2023

Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Three

Why are they French Hens, these three poultry gifts, God beyond borders? Is it because they are Gallus gallus scientifically? Do they represent faith, hope, and love, as some like to say? Or are they just chickens? Just chickens for the pot or the frying pan. Nothing special, nothing unique. Just more birds in this strange song.

Or might they be for us a reminder that borders have always been more important to us than they have been to you? Might they be a reminder that accents shouldn’t diminish, language shouldn’t divide? The light of incarnation shone in the whole world, was seen by those called foreign, and invited those unlike us. Help us, God of all creation, to see not in categories, not in nations or races, but to see your light in each and in all. Help us receive these French hens with hospitality and grace. As we have been received by your spirit. Amen.

Derek Weber, December 2023

DECEMBER 28, 2023

Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Four

Does anybody do any work in these twelve days between holidays, God of leisure and of service? Of course, they do; we see them; maybe we are them. The workers, once called essential, for a while anyway. Often doing jobs no one else wants to do, taking away the trash, cleaning up the spills, managing the dirty warehouses, digging in the dirt.

Turns out in our twelve-day song, the four calling birds were once “colly birds.” Colly meant sooty, dirty, or black. … Save us from equating the word “black” with something unclean. Help us overcome our prejudices against a color, Lord of every hue. But let us also learn to give thanks to those who work, who do the dirty jobs we rely upon but fail to honor. Help us learn respect. And help us listen to those who tell us the story of community with their hands as well as their words because that’s what incarnation means in the end. You weren’t afraid to get dirty for us, with us. Thank you for that. Amen.

Derek Weber, December 2023

DECEMBER 29, 2023

Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Five

Why are we so fascinated by this metal, gold? It’s not the most useful, not the strongest, or the most durable. It is pretty, and we can shape it into shapes to wear to adorn the body that you created and called good, God of all that is. “Five gold rings” is the part of the song where we pause, slow down our mad scamper through birds and roles and musicians. It has become the center, the most recognizable moment. Like an idol around which we can dance, like a calf on a pedestal that we imagine is you, somehow.

In our mad scramble for pretty things, for valuable things, those without get overlooked, devalued, marginalized. “Those who have the gold make the rules,” we say as a joke with too much truth behind it. God, as we approach the threshold of another new year, help us reprioritize our lives yet again. Help us lift up those we’ve neglected and turn away from the bright and shiny things of this world. Let us find beauty and value in people and not in things. Amen.

Derek Weber, December 2023

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