Prayer For Charlottesville
Just and merciful God, we give you thanks for our sisters and brothers bishops, pastors, deacons, people of God who this Saturday walk the way of the cross in Charlottesville, Va. On this day and in that place, they join other courageous and faithful people across time and space to stand against bigotry, hatred and violence; to stand with those who are intended victims; and to stand for justice and mercy, peace and equality for all people.
We stand with them in prayer, asking you to empower them, protect them, and use their witness as hopeful sign of your resurrection reign afoot in your beloved and troubled world. By your might, break the bondage that bigotry, hatred and violence impose on their victims and their perpetrators. May your kingdom come on earth as in heaven. And, we pray, empower us in our own communities to follow their lead as fellow servants to your dream of a community in which all people and their gifts are welcomed and honored, cherished and celebrated as beloved children of a just, merciful and loving God; through Jesus Christ crucified and risen for the life of the world. Amen
Dear God, who is supreme over all, we as a church cry out to you for help. Lord, as we remember the Unite the Right rally this past Sunday in DC, we ask that you would help us deal with our frustrations, anger, anxieties, and fears. Lord we know that you are a God of peace and unity. Father, the white supremacist groups do not want peace and unity with all. Many of them spread hatred, racism, anti-Semitism, and division. Lord, deliver us from the poisonous darts of disunity that seek to destroy the God-given image that you have endowed everyone with. Lord, remind us that you are for us in our time of discord. Remind us of your powerful love that hatred, white supremacy, and racism cannot separate us from. Remind us of the beauty you bestow upon every human being. Lord, our African-American, Asian, Latin American, Native American, and Jewish brothers and sisters are crushed in spirit. We have seen the damaging effects of racism in our communities and we want restorative justice. Lord, our white brothers and sisters who denounce the rhetoric and ideology of white supremacy want reconciliation and unity. They have seen the damaging effects of family members or extended relatives who promote racism and hate speech and want to end generational sins. Lord deliver them!
Let not those rejoice over me who are wrongfully my foes, and let not those wink the eye who hate me without cause. For they do not speak peace, but against those who are quiet in the land they devise words of deceit. They open wide their mouths against me; they say, Aha, Aha! Our eyes have seen it!' You have seen, O Lord; be not silent! O Lord, be not far from me! Psalm 35:19-22
Lord God, the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful God, we ask that you would not be silent. We ask that you would let your finished work on the cross through your Son, Jesus Christ speak loudly into our hearts and minds. We ask that your Holy Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, would speak life when others have spoken death. Lord move near us and help us as a church to not be silent about injustice, abuse, bigotry, hatred, racism, and division. Lord, help your church to be a voice for the voiceless, a megaphone for the marginalized, a pulpit for the poor.
Lord we speak out against evil and hate speech. We know that out of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). Lord, we pray that you would change the hearts of every white supremacist who attended last week's rally and also those who wanted to attend but couldn't. We pray that you would lead them to repentance, that they would humble themselves before you and ask you to cleanse them from their racism and idolatry. Lord, we know that all sin is against you, and so Lord let them see that they have sinned against you by sinning against those who bear your image. Lord, bring repentance in their homes. Lord, if any of the white supremacists call themselves Christian, then may you reveal your holy presence to them when they meet on Sundays. May the word of God burn in their hearts and minds and may they be exposed before your awesome presence. May they have testimonies like the apostle Paul who persecuted, killed, and imprisoned your people before he saw Jesus. May you give them a ministry of reconciliation and restorative justice that will last for generations to come. Let them see that Jesus died for African Americans, Jews, Native Americans, Asians, Latinos, and every minority that has been marginalized by their hate speech. May they engage in restorative systemic justice that extends from Charlottesville, VA to Washington, DC and all over the many cities and states that they have bases and groups in.
Father, as we close, we lift up to you the families of activist Heather Heyer who died in the car attack and the Virginia State Troopers H. Jay Cullen and Berke M. M. Bates who died in a helicopter crash while bringing aid at the rally in Charlottesville last year. We pray you would wrap your comforting arms around their families as they may be reliving these experiences. May hope and peace abound. May these families have your radical grace to continue to grow in forgiveness. And may we have the same. Lord, hear our prayer.
In Jesus' Mighty Name, the name that is above every name, we pray.
When we look at the images of hatred, division, evil, violence, and chaos that took place this weekend in Virginia, our hearts are grieved. In moments like this, it's difficult to know what to say and do. As those who follow you, help our first response to be prayer that turns into action fueled by your grace.
Lord, moments like this confront us with the depth of human brokenness and depravity. Keep us from our tendency to ignore, deflect, excuse, minimize, or explain away the darkness. Give us eyes to see and grieve the historical and generational scourge of racism and white supremacy in our country. Help us to understand that the sin we witness and experience today did not happen in a vacuum. Give us the courage to confess, call out, and mourn the devastating toll it has taken on your image bearers both in the past and in our country today.
Lord, keep us from viewing racial sin as something that happens outside of us. Search us and reveal to us the ways we have participated and contributed to its pain and devastation both explicitly and implicitly in our own hearts and lives. Replace our apathy with action. Replace our timidity with boldness. Replace our desire to blame-shift with repentance. Replace our desire for superiority with true, Gospel-humility. Replace division and fear of the other with real relationships of affection, respect, and care for our brothers and sisters.
Lord, help us to know and view each individual person we encounter as a person made in your image, a person with inherit worth, dignity, and value because you created them. Make us people who are slow to speak and quick to listen, especially to those whose experiences are different from our own.
Lord, purify your bride, the Church. Open her eyes to the ways she has contributed to the pain and suffering of your people. Make her quick to confess and repent of the places the truth of your Gospel has been tainted by the lies of the enemy. Heal and refine the places our skewed witness has kept others from knowing you. Jesus, you prayed that we would be one in complete unity just as you and the father are one. Please make it so in the way that only you can. Tear down the walls of hostility that separate and divide us. Help us to tangibly participate in this redemption work with you. Help us to know and value the work of racial reconciliation as true Gospel work.
Lord, where my words fail and my experience lacks, use your spirit to intercede.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus and make everything new. We long for the day where people from every tongue, tribe, and nation will worship you forever and the wretchedness of racism and all broken things will be banished forever.
In your name that alone can heal.
"We send love and blessing, prayers for peace and gentleness, courage
and wisdom, to all who are gathered in Charlottesville and in DC this
May hearts be turned to love and to the deep understanding that when
we lift up and support one another, we all rise.
May the vision of Isaiah be fulfilled: They shall beat their swords into
plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up
sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Lord, give Your people Your peace that we may shine brightly in a dark world. Grant us the courage to live faithfully even in the midst of hard times. Let our fear of You be the beginning of wisdom rather than allowing the fear of the world to drive our actions. Help us to embrace our heavenly citizenship and live strangely in the midst of a world that needs to know You.
Show Your mercy and heal those who are suffering in Your fallen creation. Most of all Lord, come. Restore the world You have made and make all things new. We pray that Your will would be done. Amen.
God our Father, you gave us life.
Christ Jesus our Savior, you gave your life that we might live.
Holy Spirit our consoler and purifier, you revivify our lives.
For the poor who need help today, not next week, we pray to you Holy Trinity that we might recognize, without delay, the poverty in our Sisters and our Brothers and be moved to Gospel holiness in your name and through your grace.
For those of us in a position to condemn hate, let us condemn hate, today.
For Christians in a position to stand in solidarity with the oppressed, the poor and the marginalized, let us stand together, today.
For all God's children in a position to pray for peace, for the conversion of hearts, for the Spirit of God to descend upon us, let this be our prayer, today.
For all people of good will in a position to work for justice, today is the day to do it; let this be our work, every day.
O Lord, while we individually must contend with the Work of Mercy that compels us to bear patiently the troublesome, may we also heed the call to admonish sinners, knowing today that racism is a sin and silence is complicity.
Recognizing the poor need help today, not next week, aid us and sustain us, Lord, as we pray for the souls of the lives lost over racism, white supremacy, and all ideologies that diminish a person's dignity and identity as beloved children of God. We pray also for your help as we examine our own consciences, speak out to condemn hatred, and recommit ourselves to having our hearts centered in your mercy. Mercy because that is predicated on divine love, and centered in You for whom alone we will move forward or stay back.
We call ourselves followers of Christ; May we live out the Gospel call to holiness.
We call ourselves followers of Christ; May we reclaim the Beatitudes.
We call ourselves followers of Christ; May we be reminded of our duty, may we be sustained, and may our hearts be purified so that we may change ourselves as an example for the world.
May Mary, the Mother of Mercy protect and intercede for us, and may God our Father, Christ Jesus our Savior, the Holy Spirit our consoler and purifier hear our prayer.