A Prayer for Charlottesville (And Us)

Jesus,

When we look at the images of hatred, division, evil, violence, and chaos that took place this weekend in Virginia, our hearts are grieved. In moments like this, it’s difficult to know what to say and do. As those who follow you, help our first response to be prayer that turns into action fueled by your grace.

Lord, moments like this confront us with the depth of human brokenness and depravity. Keep us from our tendency to ignore, deflect, excuse, minimize, or explain away the darkness. Give us eyes to see and grieve the historical and generational scourge of racism and white supremacy in our country. Help us to understand that the sin we witness and experience today did not happen in a vacuum. Give us the courage to confess, call out, and mourn the devastating toll it has taken on your image bearers both in the past and in our country today.

Lord, keep us from viewing racial sin as something that happens outside of us. Search us and reveal to us the ways we have participated and contributed to its pain and devastation both explicitly and implicitly in our own hearts and lives. Replace our apathy with action. Replace our timidity with boldness. Replace our desire to blame-shift with repentance. Replace our desire for superiority with true, Gospel-humility. Replace division and fear of “the other” with real relationships of affection, respect, and care for our brothers and sisters.

Lord, help us to know and view each individual person we encounter as a person made in your image, a person with inherit worth, dignity, and value because you created them. Make us people who are slow to speak and quick to listen, especially to those whose experiences are different from our own.

Lord, purify your bride, the Church. Open her eyes to the ways she has contributed to the pain and suffering of your people. Make her quick to confess and repent of the places the truth of your Gospel has been tainted by the lies of the enemy. Heal and refine the places our skewed witness has kept others from knowing you. Jesus, you prayed that we would be one in complete unity just as you and the father are one. Please make it so in the way that only you can. Tear down the walls of hostility that separate and divide us. Help us to tangibly participate in this redemption work with you. Help us to know and value the work of racial reconciliation as true Gospel work.

Lord, where my words fail and my experience lacks, use your spirit to intercede.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus and make everything new. We long for the day where people from every tongue, tribe, and nation will worship you forever and the wretchedness of racism and all broken things will be banished forever.

In your name that alone can heal.

Amen.

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