A Lamentation for Justice
Lord, we praise You and thank You that You are an Awesome God. You laid the Foundations of the Earth. You alone command the mornings. We know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. We thank You that You are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
We thank You, even in our lament, for the events of this week. In the midst of strife, hurt, pandemic, and pain, we thank you:
- For all of the helpers – those serving the sick, and those protecting your people
- For those who despite their hurting find the strength to speak out
- for all of those who have given voice to the voiceless,
- for those who have marched to bring awareness to generations of injustice,
- for those who have spoken out against misuse of power
- for those who have called out religious posturing
- for those who cry out to bring attention that the system is not broken, that indeed it was built this way
- for those who have taken time this week to educate themselves on the sins of racism in all forms: individual, structural, and systemic
- and we thank you for those who have reexamined their own lives this week, recognizing their own privileges, and how they may be silently complicit in injustice.
Lord, we thank you for Habitat for Humanity, its Mission, seeking to put your Love into action and calling us to love ALL people.
Most powerful God, we know you hear our laments. This has been a week of great lament. I lift up to you all of the laments shared today.
We lament the times that we have not loved all people. We lament when we as a society have put structures and systems in place which denigrate others and institutionalize the racism that exists in our fallen state.
We lament that we have not embodied the Love, Mercy and Grace of Jesus.
We lament that we have used your Word to justify slavery, Jim Crow laws, continued segregation, and second-class citizenship of some of God's children.
We lament all racism and racial injustice. We lament the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Dickie Marrow, Emmett Till, and so many others whose names are hidden from our written history.
We lament the violence we have seen in these days.
We lament that society’s inclination is to sweep injustice under the rug, call it an isolated incident, and fail to confront the poison at its root. And I lament that I haven’t done enough to confront the poison in me, examining my own views, actions, and lack of action.
We lament that we delay justice, and in so doing, deny it.
Almighty God, we ask for your intercession. We lift up the prayer requests on our hearts. We pray that you may use us as part of your solution as we sow love and build hope. Bless us and empower us to do your will in bringing about God’s Kingdom on Earth. Bless us in our work. Renew our commitment to radical inclusivity, that we may not falter.
Let us be a vehicle for reconciliation as we continue to break down barriers. Give us the courage it will take to confront deeply ingrained evil. Help us as a people to finally lift the break the chains of oppression.