Prayer of Lament in Divided Times
God of All Time,
Your scriptures tell me that weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning. Yet how long is this night, O Lord? How long must people live in deep racial separation, how long must violence pervade our lives, how long must we fear each other? How long, O Lord!
I lift my eyes to the hills which is where my help comes from. Lord, when the names of people who have been choked, shot and assaulted are too many to count, I know that not one soul has been forgotten by mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, cousins and friends.
…laughs and smiles,
…dreams and struggles,
…talents and personalities.
How long must we listen to the cries and screams as blood stains the sidewalk? How many videos must we watch before we begin to see a change?
The church seems to have no real explanations for what brings us to this place today. It is with real sorrow in our hearts that we need to ask you to teach us again your ways of love and justice.
Help our nation. Help us examine ourselves. Help those of us who are sad and angry to not let these deaths be in vain. We do not pray for vengeance, but we do thirst for justice. We hope for healing between neighbors and officers called to protect and serve. We long for the day when young people will live long enough to be old and parents will not have to say ‘good-bye’ too soon.
Push us to speak up and to step out of our comfort zones. Change our hearts that we might deeply long for justice to roll down, that we might invest our lives in changing this devastating, hate-filled story, because every time a person encounters violence it is a violation of our faith.
Deliver us, O God.
Deliver us from our fear, come quickly to help us, come quickly to save 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 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, the one who came that we all might have life and have life more abundantly. Amen.