Prayer Guide for Racial Unity 1 Year After Emmanuel AME
On Sunday June 12, churches in Florence County are emphasizing racial unity among Christians. This desire to emphasize such a need arose out of a Pastor's prayer breakfast in which we discussed the challenges of a racially divided Body of Christ. Here is the prayer guide I wrote for that breakfast, posted here with a few edits for broader use.
Although racism is a social issue, it is not merely social. It is primarily a spiritual issue, one of many sinful attitudes we face each day. These sinful attitudes build barriers between us and Christ and us and others. Ephesians 2:14 reminds us that there is no true unity without Christ: “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility”
Praying for Fruit From Fallow Fields:
Prayers of Racial Unity within the Fruit of the Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:2-23)
- Love: “We pray for love from one neighbor to another, beginning in this room and connecting in our churches…”
- Joy: “We pray for the joy of celebrating the ways we are alike, the ways we are different, and the ways we can see God’s certain work at uncertain times…”
- Peace: “We pray for peace in our communities: in our conversations, commerce, comings and goings…”
- Patience: “We pray for patience as we speak and listen, as we hear and share hard truths, as we look beyond preferences and seek unity in the Body of Christ and all who are created in His Image...”
- Kindness & Goodness: “We pray for kindness & goodness between old & young, every shade of skin, those in authority and those under authority…”
- Faithfulness: We pray for faithfulness as church members, leaders and pastors, to speak up and speak out against bigotry in our congregations and to help our church communities see the beauty of all brothers & sisters in Jesus Christ.”
- Gentleness: We pray for gentleness for our leaders, to be tender shepherds who guide our sheep along the way, speaking the truth in love but speaking the truth nonetheless.
- Self-Control: We pray for our own self-control, overcoming our past racial bias, distrust, and bad habits from sinful hearts. We can only lead our people forward when we confess sins of the past. We pray these as a Body of Christ and in the Name of Christ, without whom there is no peace. Amen.