(We were invited to contribute our signatures to a letter penned by various church leaders in our community, making a statement affirming the “dignity and equality of all people.” This letter will be sent for publication in our local newspaper. We thought that instead of signing onto this statement, we would turn to our loving and powerful God in prayer—seeking His intervention and help as our world continues to struggle with such issues—asking Him to give us hearts of love towards our neighbors. We invite YOU to join us in this prayer:)
Heavenly Father, You know our world is full of sin and evil. We admit that instead of being “salt” and “light,” we have far too often contributed to the corruption and darkness of this fallen world with our own selfishness. We have been found lacking the love for You and for our neighbors that Your law demands. We have struggled with our own prejudices and biases; we are guilty of racist thoughts and of putting the worst construction on those who may be different from us or have opinions and ideas that differ from our own. We have not properly valued the precious gift of life that You have given to us. Instead we have treated it lightly. We have lacked concern for others. We have failed to care for and defend those who are in need of our help and support.
O LORD, have mercy upon us! Forgive us our sins. Blot out our iniquities through the precious, atoning blood of our Savior, Your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us to see and appreciate that while we were still sinners—Your enemies—Christ died for us in order to pay for our sin and guilt. His blood, shed for us in selfless love, is what cleanses us of our sins. Help us to see and appreciate the tremendous, undeserved love that You have given to us through our Lord Jesus. Hold His love before us always—and by it, restore in us clean hearts, O Lord!
Move our hearts to turn away from the temptations of this sinful world. Help us to instead show the kind of self-sacrificing love that we have first of all received from You. Help us to set aside all selfishness and to show Christ-like selflessness to all who are around us. Move us to choose to put the needs of our neighbors before our own. Help us to cherish, value, love, and defend the preciousness of human life—of life from all races and ethnicities, from all social classes, and regardless of any differences that we may have with others. Help us to treasure and seek to protect this gift of life from the moment it begins at conception, to the last dying breath of the elderly. O Lord, give us hearts like Yours that desire people of all nations, races, tribes, and languages, to be united as one people—as Your people, who will join together in praising You and the Lamb, our Lord Jesus, around Your throne in eternal life.
O Lord, be with us now in this time of continued tension and turmoil. Heal our land. Help us to have hearts of genuine love for all of our neighbors.
We pray this all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.