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.
September 29, 2023
Holy God, you made all that is and ever will be,
And by your Love you have connected each of us to one another.
We pray now for your Hispanic/Latino(a) children.
We pray for the diverse languages, cultures, and contributions of Hispanic Americans.
O God, bless your diverse human family
And strengthen us that we might walk together in your grace.
All Glory and Honor are yours, God.
Santo Dios, tú hiciste todo lo que es y siempre será,
Y por tu Amor nos has conectado a cada uno de nosotros.
Oramos ahora por tus hijos hispanos/latinos(a).
Oramos por las diversas lenguas, culturas y contribuciones de los hispanoamericanos.
Oh Dios, bendice a tu diversa familia humana
y fortalécenos para que caminemos juntos en tu gracia.
Toda la Gloria y el Honor son tuyos Dios.
Prayer for Hispanic Heritage Month, Bread for the World, email, https://www.bread.org/pray/.
September 28, 2023
Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong … - 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 NRSV
Who am I? God of the cosmos, my single voice, my small deeds barely make a ripple in the vast ocean of sound and fury about in the world right now. Who am I to carry a banner of antiracism when so many scoff or dismiss or diminish? Who am I to envision a kingdom of unity and of peace, when some say that doesn’t work these days; we need power, they say; we need force. Who am I to stand against an unchanging tide of history and exclusion?
I am a fool, but a fool for Christ. As such, I stand in the company of fools who seek to turn the tide. My prayers will continue, my confessions will go on, and my small actions on behalf of a beloved community of justice that sees all as equally loved and honored and respected will still drop like grains of sand in an hourglass counting up to a world I may not see in this life but for which I hope in faith. Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Derek Weber, September 2023
September 27, 2023
Justice-seeking, righteousness-proclaiming, life-creating God, we open our hearts and minds to you. Send your Holy Spirit to remind us of all you have taught us. Remove the blinders from our eyes. Renew our conviction to do all we can to work with you, alongside our sisters and brothers, in shaping your New Creation. Guide our feet into your ways of justice and peace, and into your vision of shalom. Fill us, use us, Lord, as your emissaries of love and hope. Amen.
Rev. Patricia Farris, posted by Santa Monica United Methodist Church, https://santamonicaumc.org/united-against-racism/.
September 26, 2023
Inhale: My freedom is our freedom.
Exhale: Our freedom is my freedom.
Breath Prayer Day 14, from “Courageous Conversations: A Lenten Antiracism Journey,” United Church of Christ, https://jointhemovementucc.org/jtm-resources/courageous-conversations-a-lenten-antiracism-journey/.
September 25, 2023
When our eyes do not see the gravity of racial injustice,
Shake us from our slumber and open our eyes, O Lord.
When out of fear we are frozen into inaction,
Give us a spirit of bravery, O Lord.
When we try our best but say the wrong things,
Give us a spirit of humility, O Lord.
When the chaos of this dies down,
Give us a lasting spirit of solidarity, O Lord.
When it becomes easier to point fingers outward,
Help us to examine our own hearts, O Lord.
God of truth, in your wisdom, Enlighten Us.
God of love, in your mercy, Forgive Us.
God of hope in your kindness, Heal Us.
Creator of All People, in your generosity, Guide Us.
Racism breaks your heart,
break our hearts for what breaks yours, O Lord.
“A Prayer for Racial Justice,” Social Justice Resource Center, https://socialjusticeresourcecenter.org/prayers/racism/.
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.