Even as our world continues to wrestle with the ramifications of COVID-19 and the economic crisis, we are bombarded with acts of escalating racism. As people of faith we must ACT NOW to end racism— action that is accompanied by prayer for guidance, healing, and protection. These posts are offered to unite our actions and our prayers for the sake of God’s justice.
Wise Up and Live for God (John 14:1-14, NRSV)
The Scripture reading is drawn from Sunday’s lesson for July 26, 2020 ©Uniform Lessons Series, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA.
14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.
Prayer for New Possibilities
Today’s prayer by Rev. Janet L. Wolf, Director, Alex Haley Farm and Nonviolent Organizing Children’s Defense Fund, is from “United Against Racism: Churches for Change,” ©New York: Friendship Press, 2018, p. 30. You may purchase the book through Friendship Press, on their website at store.friendship-press.org.
Gracious, awesome, and life-giving God, we just come to say thank you.
Thank you for bringing us this far on the journey.
Thank you for glimmers of your glory and the power of your presence.
Thank you for the wideness of your mercy and the enoughness of your grace.
We pray, O God, that you will forgive us, for we know we have fallen short, each and every one of us. We have settled into a comfortable compromise with the status quo. We have been silent when you called us to speak. We have domesticated your calls for deliverance, sitting on the sidelines when you asked us to join you in the streets. We are complicit with systems and structure that destroy, deny, dismiss, and belittle our sisters and brothers. We have bowed down to the powers of death.
Forgive us, we pray, and by the power of your Holy Spirit, create in us new possibilities for life.
Grant unto us the creative courage and holy boldness to live as your people, to love in your name, to confront and dismantle white supremacy and oppression in all its forms, to create a world in which all people have a right to the tree of life.
Heal our land. Renew our vision.
Receive our spirits. Restore unto us the joy of thy salvation.
Make us new, Creator God.
Challenge our complacency. Disturb our apathy.
Set us on fire with a holy passion for justice and a fierce and never-ending love for all your creation. In your holy name we pray. Amen.