A Prayer for These Days
Like many of you, I watched and listened to the events surrounding the grand jury determination that there will be no indictment in the shooting death of Michael Brown: the prepared statement of the St. Louis county prosecutor followed by a time of questions and answers, the appeal from the President for calm and ongoing attention to inequities based on race as well as to healing race relations, and news reports late into the night of peaceful protests overshadowed by violence and looting. I invite you to join in prayer that arises out of profound sadness for all those directly experiencing grief and loss now, particularly the family of Michael Brown; in prayer that laments the brokenness of our communities, in particular the beleaguered community of Ferguson, MO; in prayer that reaches out in hope to the Triune God, in whom there is life, restoration, wholeness, and salvation. The hymn verse that concludes this prayer is the third verse of “Holy Spirit Living Breath of God” by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty.
O God of all peoples and nations, we cannot undo the past or make it as though it never happened. Teach us now to be at peace with you and to make peace with others. Let us experience your sacrificial and saving love so fully that our vision for today is renewed. Thank you, that you free us to face the future with steady eyes, willing hearts, and ready hands to serve you as your people.
Holy Spirit, from creation's birth,
Giving life to all that God has made,
Show your power once again on earth;
Cause your church to hunger for your ways.
Let the fragrance of our prayers arise.
Lead us on the road of sacrifice
That in unity the face of Christ
Will be clear for all the world to see.
S. John Roth, Bishop
Central/Southern Illinois Synod (ELCA)