A Prayer in Light of Recent Events

The events of the last several weeks and months relating to Ferguson, Eric Garner, and others have continued to be on my heart and mind, as I am sure they have been for many of you. A new week does not mean these trials have gone away, and we as Christians must be vigilant in bringing our our nation, our churches, and our own hearts to the Lord in prayer for mercy and healing. Below, is one such prayer.

Lord Jesus,

Recent events in our nation have reminded me how deeply sinful the human heart is. I know this is true of me. Sins I thought I have moved past suddenly appear again, an evidence of my ongoing need for personal repentance and your cleansing grace.

I hurt for the families and communities who have suffered. There is pain everywhere. So my Savior, grant me the grace to love and listen. Help Southeastern to model the Kingdom in an authentic way. Lead our churches to be vessels of healing and reconciliation.

Give wisdom to our law enforcement officials whom you have ordained to serve and protect us. I thank you for them and all that they do.

Help the hurting to not return evil—whether real or perceived, whether personal or systemic—with evil. Acts of destruction and hate are never right. The wrath of man cannot work the righteousness of God. Help them to be agents of constructive change. Help them to long for justice instead of revenge. In all their pain, I pray that you, the God of all comfort, would be their refuge.

Help white Christians, in particular, to see all persons as you do: image-bearers of the God who made them and people for whom Christ died. I know we say this. I am not as sure we always live it. Help us to reflect your heart as we work for justice and peace in our midst for all those you have made.

So my King, may your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven where people from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation gather around your throne as one big family worshipping you for who you are and what you have done. Truly, our only real and lasting hope is in you.