• Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner

A Prayer for Healing Our Nation of Violence

Updated: Jul 29

JULY 13, 2020 | by Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, NCNW National Chaplain and President of Skinner Leadership Institute


O Lord, our GOD, your name is excellent, and your ways are past human understanding. Thank you for lovingly making a perfect and majestically beautiful world and creating every human person in your divine image, and dignity. But now O God, sin in the human heart has unleashed an unimaginable tsunami of violence. Instead of peace, kinship, love, and hope, our nation is overwhelmed by gun-violence; gender-based assaults and sexual violence even on innocent children; countless police and white supremacists killing unarmed Black people; as the violence of poverty and systemic racism pollutes the land.

Lord, even the death angel of COVID-19, that has killed nearly 140,000 Americans, including a disproportionate number of Black and Brown people have not abated the avalanche of violence and have compounded unbelievable human suffering. Not even the beautiful sight of a steady stream of nonviolent multiracial young protestors seeking just policing could drown out the stench of senseless violence.

In times like these, O Merciful God, we cry out in the spirit of the prophet Amos: "let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream”:

  • On Black people, seeking new bonds of respect and care for one another!

  • On women and children seeking to be honored and protected, not violated!

  • On Black Americans looking to live in full equality, in a land free of systemic racism!

  • On police to begin protecting Black people the same way they protect White people.

  • On White Americans to cease all hate-filled racial terror against Black people!

  • On those caught in poverty, for the dignity of a living wage and sustenance.

Incline your ear to hear our prayers, O Merciful God, and rain down your healing power over our communities and our nation. We, who are called by your name, do humble ourselves, pray, and seek your face, that you might hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land. In your powerful name we pray, Lord God. Amen.

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© 2019 Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner