In addition to our lives being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the tragic death of George Floyd has brought a sharp focus to the racial inequities and divisions that exist in our land. Individuals are responding in various ways to this most regrettable and sad event.
This pandemic of racial inequity and injustice is much more serious than that of COVID-19. This requires a healing and changing of the heart, the mind, and the spirit. It mandates that we treat others as we would want to be treated. It mandates that we love others because we are all created by the same God who loves each and every one of us. James 2:1 states that we are not to show favoritism. John 3:16 says that God so loved the world. Galatians 3:28 says we are all one in Christ Jesus.
We need to pray for the family of George Floyd and those that are directly impacted. We need to pray for racial reconciliation and healing in our land. We need to pray for the violence to end and for us to work aggressively and purposefully to address the issues that divide us.
Derald Harris, our vice president for public relations, shared with me a prayer he voiced in a church service on May 31 . With his permission, I am copying it here and suggesting it might be a model for our prayers.
Father, God, our nation and our world are in turmoil. Throughout our history we have seen people treat others as inferior simply because of physical differences. I pray this morning for generations that have been affected by racial hatred and families that have been oppressed and marginalized due to the color of their skin.
Lord, you have taught us that all life is sacred and worthy of our deepest reverence. We know that You created all people and see us all as your highest creation.
You deliberately created us with differences so our world would be a place enriched by different cultures and traditions. But in spite of those differences, you created all of us in Your image. So, as we look at and interact with others, help us to see Your reflected image and understand that our differences are meant to unite us instead of divide us.
Give us the grace and strength to rid ourselves of racial stereotypes that oppress some while providing entitlements to others. Remove our apathy and indifference to the struggles of others and give us the courage to speak and work boldly for justice for everyone.
Give us the courage to stand up for racial justice and reconciliation as Your people. As individuals, as believers and as a nation, help us to see when we have missed the mark and empower us to do better.
Root out any violence or malice within our hearts and minds and transform it into love for all of our brothers and sisters. Let us WORK for peace and BE peace to one another. Help us to create a church and a nation that embraces the hopes and fears of oppressed people of color where we live, as well those around the world.
Lord, remind us that our racial struggles are caused by Satan who loves to divide us and thus fail to understand that we are all Your children. Please fill our hearts with Your Spirit so there is no room for hatred and division.
Heal Your family, God, and make us one with you. Heal our nation and our world.
In the name of our Savior who died for people of all nations, races, languages, and cultures.
[See More News]