Prayer Gathering 5.7.20

Psalm 13

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?*

2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts

and day after day have sorrow in my heart?

How long will my enemy triumph over me?*

3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God.

Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,*

4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”

and my foes will rejoice when I fall.*

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;

my heart rejoices in your salvation.*

6 I will sing the Lord’s praise,

for he has been good to me.


Prayer of Repentance for Racial Sin

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 and cultures.

Deliver us from the bondage of racism that denies the humanity of people, and deprives all people of the blessings of the diversity you have created; deliver us from assumptions that we make without thinking, and presumptions that we take without asking.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We have hardened our hearts. Believing the lie that others have the same opportunities as ourselves. We do not allow ourselves to admit that our lives were shaped as much by racism as theirs—some to benefit and others to harm. But it was and it is and it continues to be. We have cared too little. We have grieved too little.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We have silenced our voices. Our voice has not been raised in prophetic rebuke and anger. Our feet have not stepped out for justice alongside those who have more courage than us. And in silence, we are accomplices to bigotry.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We have sinned against you O God in whom there is no partiality.  As a church, we have sinned against those who suffer the evil of racism.  We are sisters and brothers of your same divine family. Indifference has smothered our soul and prohibited fleeting impulses for reconciliation. We ask for your forgiveness and we will seek forgiveness.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for your church. We have failed to name the sin of racism and to root it out. We have been silent in its wake. We have been complicit in its growth. We have been unaware of its hold on us. We proclaim today, Lord, that nothing in white supremacy comes from you. And we ask you to convict us. Push us to speak up and to step out of our comfort zones. Change our hearts, oh God.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray that we might deeply long for justice to roll down, that we might invest our lives in changing this devastating, hate-filled story, not because it’s virtuous or pious, but because every time a person encounters violence it is a violation of our faith. It is a dismissal of the sanctity of human life. It is a denial of the life of your kingdom.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord, we need your strength to step beyond blindness, indifference, and fear; to step toward those whom we have sinned against.  O Lord, open our hearts to respect and uplift the dignity of every person. Open our eyes to see the injustices within the church and society. Open our ears to listen and learn from the experiences of people different from us. Open our mouths to speak out against prejudice and injustice.

Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart [and especially the hearts of the people of this land], that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


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