Lord God, we see the pain around us—
the rage rightly boiling over,
from and on behalf of the oppressed.
We confess our participation within this system,
our willful ignorance of suffering and injustice,
our indifference to the pain we see that does not affect us,
the reticence to see the ways in which we are complicit.
Father, we lament the centuries of injustice.
We weep for the ways in which those
who look like us have justified all of it,
from slavery to Jim Crow to redlining,
gerrymandering, mass incarceration,
and countless other offenses.
Our hearts break for the ways
we have blamed the people we have wronged—
the ways we still blame black and brown bodies
for pain we inflict on them—
upon those You have created in Your image.
Spirit, teach us to listen.
Guide us to voices with experiences
different from our own.
Grant us a divine ability to hear
without giving in to defensiveness.
Help us speak when we need to speak in our circles
to confront insidious bias,
but help us do so with grace and love
so we might be allowed to do it for a long time.
Help us be silent when our voices
are unnecessary or distracting.
May we amplify voices that need to be heard.
Keep us from centering ourselves,
either focusing on our discomfort
or positioning ourselves as white saviors.
Search us, O God. Know our hearts.
Gently but persistently address the sin You find lurking.
Within ourselves, help us maintain
a posture of humility and compassion,
learning and serving in the ways available to us.
Within our families, show us how to teach
our children not to see Blackness as a threat
and not to weaponize race against others.
Within our communities, help us to challenge
each other’s biases and push each other to do the work.
Within our cities, states, and nation,
let us work and vote for change
in the systems that have caused so much pain.
Christ, teach us to follow Your example:
caring for those in our spheres of influence,
fighting those who abuse power in Your name.
Give us wisdom to know when to do each of those.
Let us do always and only what the Father tells us to do,
always keeping grace and truth together.
And when public incidents of racism
temporarily fade from the public eye,
keep truth and grace in our hearts still.