Racial Justice Sunday

 

God of justice and love. We pray that you will be with us in our struggles to welcome everyone, exclude no one and be a witness to your all embracing love

 

We pray for our world and its many struggles and conflicts

 

Remembering countries caught up in Civil War where community is pitched against community, where coexistence has turned into conflict and the foundations of society are unraveling

 

Remembering countries which are not at peace with themselves. Where there are ethnic, religious or class struggles. We pray for churches in these places that they might be agents of reconciliation and witnesses to justice

 

Remembering countries where everything seems to be at peace but underneath the surface hatreds are simmering, inequalities are growing and disaster threatens when the struggle for justice is sidelined

 

Lord in your mercy...

 

God of justice and love. Be with us in our struggles

 

We thank you for our community. For our rich cultural heritage. For the mixing of peoples that has occurred over centuries and for people from other nations and other cultures which now bring their own distinctive gifts into our neighborhoods.

 

We pray for the church and its witness to racial justice. We thank you for the times when it has stood against bigotry and injustice. We pray that we might be quick to recognize times when we have failed and be slow to anger when we feel threatened and undermined

 

Lord in your mercy...

 

God of justice and love. Be with us in our struggles

 

We pray for ourselves. We thank you for the cultural and racial diversity we experience in our own families and households. Teach us to listen and respond with love and grace

 

And we pray for ourselves when we confront difference in our neighborhood. When someone confronts us with their culture, sexuality or belief which is different from ours. Show us how to be compassionate, how to listen and so experience a new freedom as we gain a deeper insight into your world and your purposes for it

 

Let us now in a moment of quiet examine our own hearts and ask God to show us where our prejudices need to be challenged and where our hearts need to be enlarged

 

Lord in your mercy...