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Prayer for Peace and Racial Reconciliation: A Liturgy

August 21, 2017

Eph 2.14 bThe events in Charlottesville, Virginia, a little over a week ago were horrifying. White supremacists marching with torches, Nazi flags paraded down the street, violent outbursts that claimed the life of one woman and injured dozens more. It can only be described as a satanic display of racism and hatred, an offense against God and an assault on people made in his image.

But those events are also indicative of a larger and much deeper problem in American society—one that is not buried in our nation’s history of slavery, segregation, and racial discrimination (as some might like to think), but has continued to poison relationships and systems for decades, and is now finding fresh energy in the alt-right white nationalist movement.

Our Savior weeps over this. And we should too. There is no supreme race; only a Supreme Savior. Racism is an abomination in God’s eyes and antithetical to his gospel. But violence is not the answer either. In times of racial tension and evil, we must rally around the only thing powerful enough to bring true and lasting healing: the cross of Jesus Christ.

For this reason, we gathered last night at Westgate Church to pray. For those who couldn’t join us, or any who wish to seek God in prayer or this critical matter, we’re making available the liturgy we used last night (see below).

The liturgy uses a combination of responsive readings, Scripture readings, and open times of prayer. It begins with an affirmation of God’s glory and majesty, and the beauty of his design for humanity–a diverse yet single humanity, made in his image. Next it moves into a time of lament over the sin of racism in our country’s past and present. This is followed by a time of confession and repentance, both on behalf of our nation, but also personal confession as we ask God to search our hearts and reveal ways we have been part of the problem. The liturgy then moves into the gospel, the assurance that God’s grace through Jesus is the answer to the sin of racism among us and within us. Finally it concludes with a time of supplication and intercession, seeking God’s help for this time of need in our country.

You can download the liturgy here: Prayer Gathering for Peace and Racial Reconciliation.

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