July 23, 2021 | by Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner | NCNW National Chaplain and President of Skinner Leadership Institute
O Lord, our God, your word reminds us of what is required for a new normal in a restored America, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal the land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Lord of Heaven’s Armies, after 18 months of a pandemic shutdown nation; over 35,000,000 infections; more than 626,000 deaths; a new Delta variant virus resurging; massive business losses; school closures; and a general state of grief and depression, Americans are seeking a return to normal.
But God, you know that a return to “normal” in America means sustained inequities against Black, Brown, and other Americans of color in health, criminal justice, wealth, housing, employment, poverty, and other areas that beg for redress. Efforts in 49 states to rob people of color, the elderly, students, the poor of every race, and the disabled of their sacred freedom to vote are now underway. Acts of compassion, like giving food and water to the elderly or disabled languishing in long voting lines, are criminal deeds. And a lying spirit now darkens the minds of too many Jesus-followers that a defeated former President won the election to sustain a White minority rule in an increasingly “browning” nation. Help us, Lord!
God, we pray for a new normal in America where peace replaces widespread violence. We pray that the debt owed to Black Americans from 250 years of unpaid enslaved labor, systemic discrimination, degradation, and oppression is paid in some form of biblically grounded restitution or reparations. We pray that all lives matter: All Black, Asian, Latino, Indigenous, and White lives matter in access to America’s highest and best resources. O Righteous Savior, we pray for people of goodwill of all races, cultures, and backgrounds to unite under your mighty power, knowing that you alone can heal our land and help us to establish a new normal in a restored and just America. In your mighty name, we pray, Lord Jesus, AMEN.