By Emily Pilkington
Once again, we are devastated by news headlines that another beloved image bearer was senselessly taken from this earth. We ache for the family and friends of Ahmaud Arbery. We weep with them and for the moments they will never get back.
God, you are close to the brokenhearted. You save those who are crushed in spirit. Bring your peace, bring your comfort, bring your justice to them.
Jesus, we are angry.
We are angry that parents must fear their children becoming hashtags.
We are angry that our brothers and sisters aren’t able to move about freely in their world.
We are angry that lynchings aren’t just an unbearable stain of the past but a brutal, present-day reality grown out of racial sin that has never been properly dealt with.
We are angry that public outrage was required for the most baseline form of delayed justice to occur.
We are angry that our friends must endure yet another viral video added on top of centuries of racial trauma.
We are angry for disparities, for prejudices, for injustice, for cold-blooded murder, for a world that is so incredibly broken.
With the Psalmist we cry out, “How long, oh Lord? How long?”
Jesus, in moments like this we don’t know what to say or what to do. We need your help. We need your justice. We need your healing. We need your mercy.
We need your mercy for the things we have done. We need your mercy for the things we have left undone. Replace our apathy with action. Replace our complicit silence with courage.
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.
Get rid of our defensiveness and our complacency.
Make us people who are slow to speak and quick to listen and learn, especially to those whose experiences are different from our own.
Purify your bride, the Church.
Open her eyes to the ways she has contributed to the pain and suffering of your people. Tear down the walls of hostility that separate and divide us.
Help us to take responsibility for both modern day and historical sin.
Help us to know that restoration and reconciliation only come with repentance and justice.
Help us to recognize and lay aside any privilege that we have for the good of our neighbor.
Heal and refine the places our skewed witness has kept others from knowing you.
Help us to be a people who look to the interest of others ahead of our own. Help us to be our brother and our sister’s keeper.
Pull white supremacy up from its evil, horrific roots and replace it instead with deep repentance, with deep humility, with deep love and affection for our neighbor.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus and make everything new.
We long for the day when people from every tongue, tribe, and nation will worship you forever. When the wretchedness of racism and all broken things will be banished forever.
In your name that alone can heal.
For more ideas on what to pray in challenging moments where it’s hard to find word, check out Prayers For a Pandemic. You can sign up to receive daily prayer delivered straight to your inbox.