Tag Archives: prayer and race

A Prayer for the Healing of Racial Wounds

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“Prayer heals all wounds.” ~ Author unknown

Dear God,

Word of all words,

and the Mystery that makes sense of us all,

I believe that I am not a racial being, that I am made in Your image and not that of stereotypes, that I am part mystery and consequently, cannot be solved by race.  I believe that Your Word is above the words of race.

I believe that I am not a racial being, that my purpose is not decided or determined by the social coloring of skin or physical attributes, geographical location or historical systems of abuse, oppression and dehumanization as slave or master.  I believe that You made us uniquely and one of kind, not in bunches, groups or categories.

I confess that I have been wounded by race and that I have wounded others with it, that I have broken relationships and broken promises because I wanted to be found faithful and true to race.  I confess that You can bind up those wounds and cause me to live a life recovered and delivered from its pains and limitations, walking in the freedom of Your love and able to love all as You love all.

I confess that I am ashamed of the names that I have been called, that I answered to them, found pride in them, established leverage with them because I did not know where my true name would take me and what it would make me.  I accepted the name because I did not know my own.

I confess that I did not give by God- given name a chance, that I didn’t think it was worth the risk, that I deemed race right and more powerful than You.  I ask You, God, for forgiveness and healing.

I accept the healing that Your name provides and ask that You would restore the joy of life without race, that You would fix my eyes on You and not my flesh or the flesh of others, that I would live my life through the abundance of Your Son and not the scarcity of race.

In the name of Jesus the Christ, I pray.  Amen.

Prayer of the Race-less

Sovereign God, we confess that You are not controlled by race, that You are the God of all nations and people, that You are not confined to our prejudices.  We confess that You cannot be convicted of our judgments, that You are not trapped in our history.  You are the boundary of existence, our Judge and God eternal. We confess that You are Spirit, the breath of all being who cannot be colored in or contained by a culture, that You are above race and it is always beneath You.

We thank You for Your unconditional, race-less love as our Great Shepherd and not the Supreme Segregationist.  We thank You for making us in Your image, a socially colorless spirit that You breathe into and blow upon day after day.  We thank You for Your care, protection and guidance, that it is equal in attentiveness, fair and just in practice, that You are not a racist or biased based on our physical appearance or the social coloring of our skin but affirm that there is someone much deeper within us.

Breathe on this life; awaken this self within us.  Give us the courage to walk in the newness of this life and to deny the racialized self so that we might follow Your son, Jesus more closely (cf. Matthew 16.24).

We pray that You would show us our true selves not according to race but according to You, that You would close the book on race and open us up to Your Word and its revelation as the sons and daughters of God so that we would know that race does not determine our relation to You.

Make us race-less.  In the name of Jesus the Christ, I pray.  Amen.

Race-less and Prayer-Filled

“We are unfinished creatures– longing, reaching, stretching towards fulfillment.  We express these desires for completion in prayer.  Prayers articulate our seeking after the best.  Prayers give voice to aspiration towards the highest.  Everything that is distinctly human gets formulated in prayers: our pathos, our nobility, our creativity.  Also interestingly, everything that is disreputable in us– lust, avarice, pride, pettiness– disguises itself in prayer in order, if possible, to get us credit instead of shame.  But either way, whether in disguise or in reality, prayers show us at our best.”

~ Eugene Peterson, Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer

The race-less life is a prayer- filled life.  You cannot make this kind of declaration without your mind and heart being filled with a conversation that did not begin with you.  I didn’t start this dialogue.  I am merely responding to a prodding, to His questions and answers.  Eugene Peterson teaches us in Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer that prayer is answering God: “What is essential is not that we learn to express ourselves but that we learn to answer God.”

You cannot set your feet to this path, to decide to take this race-less journey if you have not packed prayer.  I continue to proclaim the race- less gospel of Jesus Christ not because of the encouragement of others but because of my conversations with God.  The hymn writer says, “He walks with me and He talks with me/ And he tells me that I am his own…”  I know that I will need it and that others may not be able to pray these kinds of prayers for race-lessness so I pack my own.

I am held together by prayer.   It is what keeps me together, what keeps my mind from wallowing in my history, what keeps my mouth from thinking the former things, what allows me to look in the mirror and see the new creature that God is creating.  Yes, it is true: “prayer changes things” but more importantly, prayer changes us.  I am race-less because I am prayer- filled.

During this season of Lent, why don’t you pray about becoming race-less.