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.
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 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 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.
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.