Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism
By Derek Weber
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.
June 9, 2023
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 written by Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team of the Sisters of Providence and cited on “Thoughts & Prayers: A Response to the Killing of Daunte Wright and the Incident Involving Caron Nazario” (4/17/21), Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington, https://www.gonzaga.edu/about/president-leadership/messages-media/2021/thoughts-and-prayers-daunte-wright-and-caron-nazario.
June 8, 2023
You who accompany us on the journey of life,
Guiding us in joyful dance,
Be a bridge between heaven and earth,
Between us your sons and daughters.
Defend us from what would devour us,
And take away the promise of new life,
With arms of war and words that kill,
With racism personal and structural,
With massacres against innocents.
All of us are daughters and sons of the Most High,
Equal in dignity, deserving of respect,
Worthy of a place on this earth,
Worthy of the call to build your Temple of Justice.
Excerpted from “Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe” by Mark Joseph Seitz, Bishop of El Paso, cited in “Night Will Be No More,” Hope Border Institute, https://www.hopeborder.org/nightwillbenomore-eng.
June 7, 2023
Who’s missing? That’s the question that needs to be asked, God of all people and all voices. Who am I not seeing when I gather for worship or for work? Who have I overlooked or ignored or let slide into the background when seeking to see all the people, when hoping to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world? Who have I never invited to join in the joy of fellowship and hope?
Remind me, God of the whole, that my salvation is wrapped up in the salvation of all, that my peace is realized in the wider community of humanity, that my gifts and my joy are given to me to share and not to hoard to myself. Open my eyes, Lord, to those whom I miss. In the name of the Christ who sees. Amen.
Derek Weber, May 2023
June 6, 2023
Lord, we acknowledge that we have fallen short of your goodness. You are like the mother hen who gathers her chicks under her wings, whose embrace provides layers of protection and emanates the warmth of your love and care. We are often more self-seeking: manipulating what we can for our own advantage, putting the desires of our stomach above the hunger of others, using our own voices to drown out the cries of those oppressed.
Lord, help us to put other people above ourselves, to assist in feeding those who hunger for justice, and to amplify the voices of the oppressed. Lord in your mercy, forgive us and change us.
“Prayers of Repentance,” All We Can, Methodist Relief and Development, https://www.allwecan.org.uk/prayers/prayers-of-repentance.
June 5, 2023
Look with sympathy, O heavenly Father, upon the people in this land who live with injustice, cruelty, terror, disease, and indifference as their constant companions. Have mercy upon us by helping us to eliminate our own cruelty and make us agents of your love. Help us to insist and bring about equal protection, regard and justice under the law and in the hearts of all people, and grant that every one of us may enjoy a fair portion of the opportunities and riches of this land; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.
“A Prayer Vigil for the End of Racism,” St, Mark’s Episcopal Church, page 6, https://mcusercontent.com/feb95d46dfddcc6a909f9880a/files/24b24b5f-ae75-4714-bf0e-2a40a1403699/A_Prayer_Vigil_for_the_End_of_Racism.pdf.
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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