Everyone we know is taking part in a long overdue, complex public conversation about racial equality and what it means to love our neighbor. As parents of a child of color, these matters are personal. Urgent. Heart-wrenching. We are full of fear and grief, questions and hopes for what is to come. Yet despite the intensity of our thoughts and emotions, we’ve held back from expressing ourselves outside the walls of our own home. Why? Because before we speak openly to friends and readers like you, we need to be still, listen, and speak with God. Here is our prayer for our family and yours in these times of pain and division. Pray with us?
Lord, you have heard the cries of people of color for centuries.
You know the pain like no one else. Jesus, too, was “oppressed and afflicted” on this earth. (Isaiah 53:7) He too was judged and punished, “despised and rejected,” and “held in low esteem.” (vv. 8, 3)
In the end, Jesus gave his innocent life as an offering for the sins of hatred. Injustice. Abuse. Apathy. Pride and disobedience to your Word. He knew the suffering of oppression, and he bore the sins of the oppressors on the cross.
Lord, we need your light and power over the darkness in our world. Racism is tearing us apart. Voices are shouting for change and for justice. Families are broken and weeping the loss of their loved ones. We feel helpless—without you, we have no hope.
Forgive us for our stubborn blindness to the needs of our neighbors.
Forgive us for refusing to listen. We chose to cling to quiet and comfort for ourselves while peace and safety has been denied to so many. Give us humility to sit under the teaching of your wise ones who understand racism and mark a path to reconciliation. We need ears to hear and willing feet to follow.
We pray you will humble the hearts of our leaders and fill their mouths with words of peace. We need courageous men and women who will use their strength, positions of influence, and assets to protect and uphold all people. Give them humility to lead like Jesus, in that “whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant” and “the one who rules [is] like the one who serves.” (Mark 10:43, Luke 22:26)
What do we do, Lord?
By your Spirit, tell us when to speak and share your heart for racial reconciliation. Put our hands to the work of establishing equality here and now. As you expand our understanding of both your perfect will and the failings in our culture, move us to act on what we know. We long to lead a “good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:13,18) Move through this prayer for our family to make us both hearers and doers of your Word.
Finally, Lord, we plead with you to protect our child.
You have clothed his sweet spirit in beautiful, biracial skin. His brown eyes sparkle when he laughs, and he twists his black curls around his finger when he’s deep in thought. Yet so many in this world are set against him, without even knowing his name. His creativity. His big heart that holds compassion and friendship for everyone in his life. Keep him under your wing as his refuge and shield from harm. (Psalm 91:4) Guide our parenting to prepare him for the world outside our door. Bring him honor and make him seen as one made in your image. Pour your love into him—and our family—so we shine your light wherever we go.
Thank you for your promises we can cling to in these times. We put our trust in Jesus, who “is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17) You are binding your people together from every nation, race, and tongue. We hold confidence and hope that both now and forever, you will “reconcile to [yourself] all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (v. 20) In you we find all that is good, right and just, and worthy of praise. Amen.
How we’re learning right now:
Michael Todd – Transformation Church
Tony Evans – The Urban Alternative
Institute for Healing Racism – West Michigan
“How to Talk about Race with Your Kids” by Michelle Reyes
Comment with your suggestions for books, podcasts, videos, and articles about racial reconciliation so we can learn and serve together!