24-7 believes that black lives matter but does not
support nor align with the BLM organization.
Gracious God, we thank you for the human family filled with all the peoples of the earth. We are thankful that you have created such an amazing and wonderful diversity of people & cultures. We pray that you will enrich our lives with ever-widening circles of fellowship, so that we may discover your presence in those who differ from us.
Deliver us from the bondage of racism that denies the humanity of some people, & deprives all people of the blessings of the diversity you have created; deliver us from assumptions that we make without thinking, & presumptions that we take without asking.
Bless and strengthen each effort we make as individuals when we seek to understand ourselves and others as well as the ways we benefit from personal privilege and power, so that we may be allies who challenge bias and prejudice within ourselves others.
Bless and strengthen each effort we make to change the systems and structures of our schools and educational institutions; our politics and civic policies; and our economic institutions’ methods and models; so that the roots of racism may be recognized and purged from among us.
Break down the walls that separate us from one another. Cast out the spirit of violence that afflicts so many. Cleanse us of malicious ideas & ideologies. Unite us in bonds of love.
Open our hearts to respect & uplift the dignity of every person. Open our eyes to see the injustices within church & society. Open our ears to listen & learn from the experiences of people of color. Open our mouths to speak out against prejudice & injustice. We commit ourselves to work for justice & peace, & to pursue a deeper relationship to you, Lord, so that we truly may be your church for the sake of the world.
At this juncture it's helpful if you go at a slower pace so that you cab be more thoughtful & reflective before sending up your prayers.
Slower creates more spaces for silence & more space to consider & contemplate the subject matter before speaking your prayers into it.
Start your time just breathing in & out slowly a dozen times.
As you do, reflect on each breathe as a gift - from God.
Celebrate these small miracles of inhale & exhale which make your life possible.
Reflect on the last words of George Floyd. “ I can't breathe.”
Try to imagine what he must have been experiencing, physically & emotionally.
Let your imagination fill with details like the ache in his whole body.
The feel of his face pressed against the gritty gravel in the street.
Bound by cuffed arms behind your back.
The smell of the officers pant leg & boot.
The sound of panicked onlookers interceding for George.
The sharp pain from the crushing of his neck.
Can't get a deep breath - just short shallow in & exhale
Using all that small breathe to plead... I. Can't Breathe.
Police ignore his pleas. Police ignore onlookers pleas. Onlookers take pictures. He was dying in the company of an audience, but none of that would save him.
For the officers at the scene.
For the panicked onlookers who felt powerless to effect change.
For George's grieving family.
PAUSE FOR 1 MINUTE
For people of color around the nation experiencing the tipping point of anger & anguish - grieving the long towering presence of racism in its many forms which reach into their daily lives in ways non-blacks can not fully comprehend.
PAUSE FOR 1 MINUTE
For the nation in turmoil in this time of reckoning - that God would enable & inspire individuals, churches, organizations, structures & institutions to partner with Him in the work of making America a more racially just nation.
Save us, O God, from ourselves,
from racism often cloaked
in pious words,
from the machinations of
white supremacy hidden
in calls for civility,
from micro aggressions thinly veiled in arrogance,
from religious language, oversimplifications or platitudes used to minimize or deny racism & racial inequity & thus ignore its brutality on those who suffer under it,
from unchallenged racial disparities in the world & in the Church.
from apologies when they
don’t give way to action,
from forgiveness without
facing the truth,
God, we come before You today confessing the sin of racism in our country, our church & in ourselves. Forgive us for our part in it, for the ways we have contributed to the oppression of others whether knowingly or unknowingly.
Help us to see the reality of racism and bigotry wherever it exists & have the courage to challenge it.
By the power of the Spirit, make us people of justice, restoring, repairing & bridge-building for the sake of Your kingdom.
May we be given the grace and power to change within ourselves and also, to join with others to do the work of love and justice in the world; to move toward the goal of bringing an end to racism. In Christ's name. Amen
Pray For The Church
Ask for God's movement in all the spheres of our souls, cities, systems & institutions where racism has been entrenched & un-confronted. Pray that the Church would rise up in prayer in this hour of national upheaval to support the work of God & thwart the nefarious agenda of the enemy.
Ask God to stem the tide of violence, destruction, derision & division & awaken the Church to her role as reformers, prophets & peacemakers, bridge-builders, resistors of ignorance & rejectors of apathy.
Contend in prayer for the Church to take her place as a voice for the voiceless & as a defender of the marginalized on the front lines of systemic injustice & places where oppression & inequity prevail.
Invite God to open the Church's heart & eyes to its call to champion equity in the long abandoned trenches of racial justice & partner with God to help heal the nation from its ancient wound of racism.
May God give the Church the courage to "do what is hard to achieve what is great" in the name of Christ.