A Prayer for Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and the World

May 30, 2020

Heavenly Father…

We come before you with a heavy heart. The world around us is hurting. I am hurting. As pandemic grips the globe, as injustice dehumanizes, as civil unrest creates chaos and as racism and racial tension threaten to tear local, national, and global communities apart—we turn to you.

Even as our souls are pained by the troubles of this world and as feelings of powerlessness and uncertainty threaten to rob us of peace, we look to you. We are reminded that you have overcome this world. We are reminded that you are all powerful. We are reminded that you know all things and that authentic peace is found in you and you alone.

Lord, in the midst of this difficult season of unrest and upheaval, help us not to lose heart and remind us that it is through your blood we have been redeemed and by your blood, we are your people, one people. We beseech you to give us hearts to see each other as you see us, and not allow fear, misunderstanding, and our complicated history to separate us anymore.

Lord, just as we look outward at the world, we also look inward at our own hearts. Help me to examine my own heart. I pray the words of the psalmist, asking you to, “search me, O God, and know my heart!  Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”(Psalm 139:23-24)

Bring the conviction of sin into my life if there be any grievous way in me, Lord. Be it pride, or bigotry, or apathy, or racism, or hatred, or any other grievous way, lead me into confession and repentance and please show me in your grace.

Lord, in the face of unrighteousness and injustice, help us to be angry and sin not. Give us the wisdom to express our feelings in a way that doesn’t demean or destroy in the process. May our words and conversation reflect the message of the cross, for we know that you are a God of justice, and may your justice prevail.

Lord, we ask that you will protect our hearts from being hardened in response to the evil present in the hearts of others. As David stated in Psalm 51, “Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.” Now more than ever, we need you to help us live out the commandment of loving our neighbor as ourselves. Help us to empathize with those that are suffering, growing to a place where “He” can be “Me’, and it is no longer “Them” but “Us”. Let now be the time that the Scriptures become the script played out in our lives.

Lord, we ask for healing for those who are hurting. We ask for justice for the oppressed. We pray for the world to be a place where all human dignity is upheld. We ask for protection for all those who are vulnerable in the midst of these challenging times.  We pray over our leaders and we ask you to give them the wisdom to restore and not to divide, to bring justice and peace to our land. We ask that your Spirit would fill your church to display your gospel with unity, sacrificial love for one another, and a zeal for justice.

Even as I hurt, God, will you lift my eyes to see and feel the sorrow, the grief, and the pain of those around me? Regardless of race, or economics, or geography or religion, help me to weep with those who weep, share in their pain, and lament when those who bear your image suffer or die at the hands of injustice.

Lord, we are thankful you hear our cry. We are so thankful that you are attentive to our prayers, acknowledging our every care and concern, understanding our labored sighs, and translating the language of our tears.

Hear my prayer, Lord;

    let my cry for help come to you.

Do not hide your face from me

    when I am in distress.

Turn your ear to me;

    when I call, answer me quickly…

~Psalm 102:1-2

We humbly ask these things in the powerful name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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