Home Worship Planning Preaching Resources Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism

Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism

By Derek Weber

Three people holding hands in prayer

While the headlines may have receded, the sin of racism continues to be seen and felt on both individual and systemic levels. Dismantling racism is not a short-term task but a lifelong moving forward to perfection in love—to use founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley’s words. Therefore, Discipleship Ministries and other agencies and bodies of The United Methodist Church will continue to provide resources and guidance on how to become anti-racist individuals and churches. Please seek out the help you need to maintain your efforts to transform your community into an anti-racist fellowship.

The Worship Team of Discipleship Ministries believes, however, that such a change will not happen unless the whole process is bathed in prayer every step along the way. To that end, we will continue to provide daily prayers to help keep us all centered on the ongoing journey of transformation. From Monday through Friday, a new prayer will be posted here for your use as personal devotion, to share in your small group, or for use in corporate worship.

If you wish to receive these prayers each day in your email, the process for signing up is outlined below. If you would like to submit a prayer for anti-racism, click here to contact us. Join with us in this season of prayer and change in our denomination and beyond.

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April 19, 2024

Merciful God,
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 for ever.

All: Amen.

“A Collect for Racial Justice Sunday,” Liturgical Resources for Racial Justice Sunday, The Church of England, https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/worship-texts-and-resources/liturgical-resources-racial-justice-sunday.

April 18, 2024

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, FL, https://www.dosp.org/racialharmony/pray/prayers-of-the-faithful-against-racism/.

April 17, 2024

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 violence 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.

Prayers for Racial Justice, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Allentown, PA, https://www.standrewsbethlehem.org/welcome-home-page/prayers-for-racial-justice/.

April 16, 2024

Father, you created each one of us in your own image. Yet yours is a world made glorious by its rich diversity. This we sometimes misunderstand, sometimes fear. Give us the patience to build on what unites us, to celebrate our differences and to learn from them. Grant us the wisdom to recognise your Church, beyond the walls of a building, reaching out across all communities, countries and cultures. Give us the courage to offer refuge to those in need, to challenge prejudice and seek justice for all. Help us see that you created us in your image. Neighbour or stranger, always our brother or sister.


Prayer by Yashoda Sutcliffe/CARJ (Catholic Association for Racial Justice), cited in Prayers for Racial Justice, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, https://cafod.org.uk/pray/prayer-resources/prayers-for-racial-justice.

April 15, 2024

It is grumbling day in the United States, God of all creation. Or as some call it, Tax Day. No one likes paying taxes. And we rightly have questions about how this money is spent. But is it possible to have a larger vision of what we participate in when we pay our share?

God, you call us to relationship, to live in community with you and with one another. This has responsibility as well as benefit. We have chosen to be a nation that cares for those most vulnerable. We have chosen to be a nation that works toward justice. We have chosen to be a nation that provides essential services to all. This doesn’t happen without some sacrifice, without surrender of privilege, without moving beyond the me-ness of our culture.

So, help us, God of equality and of community, see where we continue to fall short, to see who has been left out of the dream and the promise. And help us recommit to inclusion and to justice so that we can truly live up to the ideal of “all the people.” Amen and Amen.

Derek C Weber, April 2024

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Rev. Dr. Derek Weber, Director of Preaching Ministries, served churches in Indiana and Arkansas and the British Methodist Church. His PhD is from University of Edinburgh in preaching and media. He has taught preaching in seminary and conference settings for more than 20 years.

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