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.
March 22, 2023
Teach me, God of all creation, how to be hospitable to those whose journey of faith is different from mine. Teach me respect for those who worship differently than I do. But most importantly, teach me how to represent my faith by caring enough to listen and learn from those who walk a different path, and only then to humbly share my story.
Help us be good citizens of a multicultural, multiethnic, and multifaith community so that we might overcome that which divides and that which tears down. May we rid ourselves of the fear of the other and learn what unites us and not just what makes us different. May I with sincerity wish my Muslim neighbors, “Ramadan Mubarak” – a blessed Ramadan.
Derek Weber, March 2023
March 21, 2023
God, we lament the damage that our silence in the face of racial violence has done, for the sins of racism that run through our lives like so many threads in a cloth. Forgive us for the times we have given in to our discomfort, for the times we have forgotten our own privilege and failed to stand with our black siblings. Help those of us who experience white privilege every day remember that, with our privilege, we are imbued with the responsibility to challenge and hold one another accountable. Give us the courage to educate ourselves, to listen well, and to use our voices when it is most needed.
Clara Weybright, “Lament,” Prayers of Lament: Responding to the Violence of Racism (June 1, 2020), Mennonite Church, USA, https://www.mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/lament-violence-of-racism.
March 20, 2023
It is the first day of spring, God of seasons and of rebirth; and it may be bright and sunny, or it may be gloomy and wet. Either way, we can hold on to hope that something new is beginning today. Some growth is happening, some beauty is springing up somewhere. That is always our springtime hope: that regardless of what we see before us, a kin-dom possibility is at hand.
It is not easy, we must admit, to hope for a beloved community in the face of division and hatred. It is not easy, we must admit, to work for equality and justice in the face of the tyranny of wealth and favoritism. It is not easy, we must admit, to live for peace in a world addicted to conflict and violence.
Yet who ever said resurrection is easy? We will follow the path of a disciple and do the difficult thing, Lord of a springtime of new beginnings. Equip us to love well this season. Amen.
Derek Weber, March 2023
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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