Prayers

Updated: Sep 14

A Prayer for Chadwick Boseman

Lord, please welcome the soul of Chadwick Buseman into your loving embrace.

He was s a role model and hero to Black children and cared deeply for all children

Also, please address the special challenges that our Black Brothers and Sisters

face with cancer with markedly later diagnosis and earlier mortality

by Gordon Nary Profiles in Catholicism


A Prayer for John Lewis


Dear Lord,


First, I ask you, Lord, for the courage that comes from faith — the courage to stand up to the intensity of constant political corruption, the growing divisiveness in our culture, the spreading of fear, the downward spiral of hatred, and the ugly spirit of anger and even violence that is now shaping our politics.


I ask you, Lord, to defend the truth over the perpetual lies in Washington, D.C. And I pray that you heal the politics of grievance and blame and racial hostility that make people want to believe the lies. May we come to know what Jesus taught us: “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” And may we come to understand that losing the truth will mean losing our freedom, that the opposite of the truth that sets us free are the lies that lead us to bondage — from presidential lies to political party lies to social media lies.


I ask you, Lord, to remind all of us who say we are the followers of your two great commandments:

To love God with our whole hearts, minds, and souls, with our whole selves — which must set us free from our nationalist idolatry of putting America first, and of white supremacy, militarism, and materialism, the three giant triplets of evil that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King prophetically called out.

To love our neighbor as ourselves, to treat others as we want to be treated, to love those who are different from us, as Jesus instructed us to do when asked, “Who is my neighbor?” This must set us free from ignoring or even targeting our neighbors who are not like us. And, yes, to extend that neighbor-love even to our enemies.


May we reread and obey Jesus’ clear teachings that the “least of these” are the most important — the opposite of what we see in Washington, D.C. May we each ask you, Lord, what we must all do now if what Matthew’s Gospel says is true — that how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger (the immigrant and refugee), the sick, and the prisoner is how we treat Christ himself.

Teach us to say to all our fellow citizens increasingly ruled by fear what Jesus says to us, “Be not afraid.” Free us, Lord, from what Timothy’s epistle calls the “spirit of fear,” which is now a campaign strategy in American politics.


Remind us, Oh Lord, of what you taught us about leadership — defined by service, not by dominance. Teach us what it means for us to be servant leaders and to look for that in our elected leaders.

In a culture increasingly ruled by conflict and polarization, teach us what it would mean and cost for us to follow Jesus who says, “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Lord, help us to find the strength to be those children of God who show love and not contempt for our enemies and seek to resolve our deepening conflicts.


In particular, on this day, in this week of political tumult, I give thanks for the human examples of courage based on faith.

I give thanks for Sen. Mitt Romney who became the first senator ever to vote to impeach a president from his own party saying, “I take an oath before God as enormously consequential.” And I am grateful for the long poignant pause, taken in the Senate chamber when this senator emotionally talked about his faith.


I also give thanks for Alabama Sen. Doug Jones for risking his political career, which we seldom see in either political party, by voting for what he believed was “right over wrong.”


I pray for those presidential candidates of the opposition Democratic Party to live by their own faith and values and to not mimic the spirit and tactics of the president they oppose.

And, as we are biblically instructed, I pray for all our leaders, including our President Donald Trump, that he might learn the ways of Jesus, experience the continual conversion to Christ that changes all of us, and find the forgiveness and humility that we all need in the presence of God.


I pray for both parties to not be selective over who is entitled to life and dignity. Our theology of who bears the image of God must be consistent.

I pray for Christian believers to not put their political divisions first, but enter into a new conversation about Jesus — what he said, what he meant, and what that means now in our public life. Let us enter into those honest and vital conversations about who Jesus is and who he wants us to be, especially between our black, brown, and white churches.

I pray that citizens of different political persuasions refrain from attacking each other’s character, but rather try to understand each other’s deep concerns and hopes for their futures. In particular, help us to talk together about our hopes and fears for our children’s lives and learn that we want the same things for our kids' futures.

I pray that religious believers in the United States put their faith over their politics, that citizens put their country over their political party, and that nobody in our country be exempt from the rule of law and the principles of our constitutional democracy.

In the midst of what is now a political, constitutional, moral, and spiritual crisis, with no certainty of how it will be resolved, we all pray, “Lord have mercy.”

Oh Lord, replace our feelings of helplessness and hopelessness with a commitment to courageous action and the hope that we believe can only come from you.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Amen

by Jim Wallis Profiles in Catholicism

A Prayer for the Peaceful Demonstrators against Racism

Dear Good and Gracious God,

We implore you to help the peaceful demonstrators who in their hearts are concerned about our rampant racism.  Help them to continue the important work of helping others.  Help them share the thoughts of peace with each other and with the people they meet. Help them to understand the importance of peace for all of us. Help them to realize the importance of merciful justice.  Help them in their deliberations on how to proceed.  Help them understand the complexity of others' life and what they are dealing with.  Help them to realize that many people are out of work and don't have meaning in their lives. Help them to continue to obey the laws of the country and continue their good example to all of us.  Help them use the gifts of the Holy Spirit of wisdom, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, good thoughts, and fear of the Lord so that we all might act in the light of the Lord. Help us to forgive anyone who challenges what we are doing and all the little nastiness that happens without much thought.  Help us, Lord, to notice those who are sweeping the sidewalk and emptying the garbage so that there is a peace established in each of our communities.  Bless all the peaceful demonstrators' Lord so they can continue to change and transform the world in a way that helps us understand the goodness and intention of each other for the good of our communities and our world

by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D. Profiles in Catholicism

Prayer for Police Harmed in the United States During Racial Demonstrations

Good and gracious God,

During this time of unrest, we ask you to send forth your Spirit and help us to renew your earth with the joy of serving all we come in contact with. Help the police people who are struggling to maintain order.  Help the police people who are trying to be kind when others are throwing things at them.  Help the police people who want to assist all the people they come in contact with.  Help the police people to use good words on others and their fellow police people. Help them to look at each person they meet as a gift from Almighty God who will help them in their struggle. Help them to realize any touch or words that hurt another is inappropriate. Help them to reach out to let them know where they should be at this moment to keep everyone orderly and in union with each other. Help the police people to be kind when others are mean or rude Help police people to say a private prayer to you, Holy Spirit, for whatever situation arises before them. We ask you to give us the graces to do our work in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D. Profiles in Catholicism

Prayer for Dismantling Racism

Dear God, in our efforts to dismantle racism, we understand that we struggle not merely against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities – those institutions and systems that keep racism alive by perpetuating the lie that some members of the family are inferior and others superior.

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.

by the Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team.


A Prayer to End Racism


As we gather together for prayer and communion, we are reaffirming our commitment to love unconditionally, welcome all people and work to root out the cancer of racism that betrays our faith and country’s highest principles.”

by The Rev. Dr. Darryl Roberts, Senior Pastor, Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, Washington. DC

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