A Time For Prayer
I learned just this week that a gathering of Christian pastors in Minneapolis has been regularly praying together from the day George Floyd was killed nearly a year ago. As the verdict was handed down earlier this week and with the sentencing yet to come, they invited Christ followers everywhere to join them in praying during this polarizing period in history, asking that God’s people will unite their voices in earnest prayer to heal our deeply divided nation.
Some are quick to minimize prayer in moments of national crisis, saying that “thoughts and prayers” are hollow and not enough. Indeed, there is always more to be done after we pray, but nothing of enduring or eternal significance can be done until we pray. People who know and love God, understand that human solutions are never enough to prevail in a spiritual battle. We need God’s power and presence and promises and principles to guide us in these troubled times.
As followers of Jesus, each of us has an opportunity and a responsibility to carefully measure our words and actions and social media posts. Let’s remember that our differences are a part of what makes us human – and our compassion and love for those differences is what makes us Christian. Let’s also remember that it’s easier to act like a Christian than it is to react like one.
So, instead of reacting in panic, let us be proactive in praying. Instead of being quick to speak, let’s be quick to listen. Instead of spreading our opinions, let’s stand on God’s promises. Instead of becoming more entrenched in political partisanship, let’s be more focused on our heavenly citizenship. Instead of telling everybody how convinced we are that God is on “our side,” let’s be more convicted that we are on God’s side.
Here is a partial prayer list the pastors in Minnesota have put together:
PRAY FOR GOD TO MOVE
- Pray that people everywhere will come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Pray that renewal and revival will spark and spread among Christ followers everywhere, and that churches will shine and thrive in this time.
- Pray for broken families to be healed in Jesus’ name.
- Pray for children, students and young adults to be drawn to Christ amidst the many alluring voices.
PRAY FOR INTEGRITY & JUSTICE
- Pray for legal justice to be administered with integrity and equality.
- Pray for law enforcement officers, and for policing forces to reflect noble moral authority.
- Pray for God’s justice to reign powerfully, ruling in the hearts of people from the courtroom to the streets.
- Pray to become a person who acts justly, loves mercy, and walks humbly before your God.
PRAY FOR UNITY
- Pray for the end of racism in all of its dehumanizing and destructive forms.
- Pray for grace and wisdom to hear and understand the pain of others.
- Pray for true repentance, the power of forgiveness and ultimate reconciliation.
- Pray for unity among races, classes, and all people within and between churches.
Let me close today by sharing a prayer that I adapted from the church my best buddy, David Vaughan, leads in Cincinnati, OH:
Heavenly Father, we pray for integrity, justice, and peace.
We pray for our judicial system, our brothers and sisters in law enforcement, and public service.
We pray for the end of racism in every form, and for empathy and love to outshine any hateful or angry thoughts towards other children of God.
We pray for truth, mercy, and grace for people who differ in political views, skin color, economic status, and earthly position.
We pray for protection, love, and hope for the families affected by all injustice.
We pray that this country would be drawn to the saving power of Jesus Christ, and that we remember that He conquered through sacrifice and overcame through suffering.
Most of all Father, we pray for Your presence in this trying time.
We pray that Your glory is honored in this moment of history, and that anyone who is seeking answers for the questions in their hearts… are able to find them in and through You.
Loving the praying Journey,