If you are taking part in the day of prayer, lament, and fasting for the situation in our country, the following is a suggested prayer guide to help direct you. Thank you for your participation!
Please begin by reading Psalm 12, a psalm of lament.
- Pray for our leaders (1 Tim. 2:1-2). Pray that God would give them wisdom and humility in leading our country, our states, and our local communities (Prov. 8:15). Pray for our president, our members of Congress, our Supreme Court, our governor, and all the others we have elected to make decisions for this country. Pray that they would seek to honor God in right and equal administration of justice for all (Ps. 82).
- Pray for those who have been the victims of the unjust misuse of power and authority (Prov. 17:15; 6:16-19). Pray for the families of those who have died at the hands of murderers in high places. Pray that the Lord would deliver those who are suffering from injustice in any form (Ps. 68:5-6). Pray that the Lord would reveal to you ways in which you can be of service to those who are suffering injustice.
- Pray for those who are the victims of racism (Gen. 1:27). Pray also for the repentance of those who hate others because of the color of their skin, their nationality, or any other foolish excuse for hatred. Pray especially for those who profess to be Christians and yet harbor racist or xenophobic prejudices (Gal. 3:27-29). Pray that believers would love each other (John 13:34) and that we would honor God by loving our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22:34-40; Luke 10:25-37).
- Examine your own hearts and confess to the Lord any ungodly prejudices you might have, seeking to turn from your sin and by the power of the Holy Spirit put to death the deeds and attitudes of your sinful nature (Rom. 8:13). Know that for those who confess their sins, God is faithful and just to forgive their sins and to cleanse from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9).
- Pray for those who are looting and rioting. Pray that justice would be done in their situation as well, and that they would repent (Rom. 13:3-4). Pray for the business owners who are suffering through the sinful actions of these looters. Pray also that the actions of the rioters would not mute the message of those who are peacefully seeking change.
- Pray for the police. Many police officers are just as sickened by the events in Minneapolis and elsewhere as the protestors are. Pray that God would protect and strengthen those officers who are truly seeking the protection and welfare of their neighbor; pray that they would not be unjustly villainized.
- Pray that the protests do not lead to an upsurge in cases of the coronavirus; pray for the safety of both the protestors and the police and National Guard who are congregating in large numbers.
- Pray that Americans will work together, despite political differences, for the good of all.
Parents and grandparents, this would also be an excellent time, before or after prayer, to talk to your children and grandchildren about the issues that are facing our country. Be open to their questions and help them to understand why Christians reject the sin of racism. Teach them that all human beings are made in God’s image (Gen. 1:27) and are descended from the same first parents. Teach them that they are to treat everyone with dignity, regardless of color or nationality, because all human beings are God’s image-bearers. Teach them also that those who belong to Christ Jesus, who are united to Him through faith, are one people, though we come from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, and that this is God’s good and beautiful purpose and for His glory (Rev. 7:9-10).