November 5, 2020 | Prayer by Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner,
NCNW National Chaplain and President of Skinner Leadership Institute
Loving God, how we thank and praise you for your keeping power over our lives and our great nation. Your word reminds us that “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!" (Isaiah 26:3). Though our thoughts are fixed on you today as Savior and Lord, our peace has been shattered by our nation's events. Just days after a game-changing election, America is as divided as in 1877 following Reconstruction when anti-Black Codes were sealed into the laws from state to state. 401 years after African people were enslaved in America, our 2020 election divided citizens starkly between two realities. One reality would sustain indefinitely white supremacy and keep Black people and other people of color as permanent second-class citizens. Another reality finally embraces a multiracial democracy where all are valued, despite the long and difficult struggle required to achieve it.
Awesome and merciful God, you made all people in your divine image with the same measure of dignity, value, and worth, all lovingly shaped by your mighty power and adoring hands. Yet, sin and greed over centuries have embedded social systems that advantage white Americans and disadvantage Black people as a perpetually despised class.
Lord, we know that America is not the kingdom and that heaven and earth will one day pass away. But God, in ancient and modern times, you "brought down rulers from their thrones and lifted up the humbled” (Luke 1:52) Today, God, we ask you to hear our cry as we “humble ourselves, and pray, and seek your face, and turn from our wicked ways, then you will hear from heaven and heal our land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Move us today from judging those who politically disagree with us, to building bridges that help address the needs of the vulnerable. Help diverse faith leaders to end self-righteous finger-pointing and begin pointing the way to peace with justice, for “blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9). In Your Mighty and Matchless name, we pray, Lord God, AMEN.