Lord, teach us how to pray, and help us to pray now.
Lord, we have been reminded recently of what a brutal world you have put us in:
a world where children are kept away from their parents’ funeral by a virus,
where abusers are locked in a house with their victims,
where the rich cower in their homes while the poor work for them,
where the phrase “Black Lives Matter” is not some stupid obvious statement but a radical call for change,
where some people are just alone,
where some people just plain starve to death.
Maybe we start to understand the image of you as a warrior god: there is so much to fight.
We pray for people hurt by racism in our society: for those mourning for their dead, for people deeply hurt by insults and assumptions. We pray for those denied access to university, for people who hit a glass ceiling in their careers. Bring change.
We pray for the racists: the violent, the insulters and the powerful quiet suppressors. We ask for miracles in them, for the pain and fear driving their hate to be relieved and for true healing. Work deep at the root. Bring change.
We pray for the quiet majority, who let this all pass by as if they are not involved, whose own quiet biases and assumptions shape their actions. Bring change.
We pray for the leaders in the US at this time. Give them wisdom and compassion beyond what we would ever expect. Bring change, and bring peace through that change.
For ourselves, we thank you for the great work of St John’s people helping people in need at the moment: delivering prescriptions, spending time on the phone with people who could do with a friend, and many other things. Please provide energy for everyone doing this work, and opportunities to help people who we haven’t found yet. Please give us life-long friendships from this work. Please keep the vulnerable safe while this work goes on and prevent us from spreading infection.
We pray for the people living without a home at such a difficult time. We ask for health, and access to healthcare. We pray that they would be able to use toilets and showers. We pray against the things keeping them from having a home, and we ask that they would have somewhere to live. Please show us, as individuals or as a church, how we can help make homelessness in our town a thing of the past. Bring change.
We think we might be learning more during this crisis about what you want us to be. Is it possible we could be the place where people who were unwanted are welcome? Could we become people capable of that generosity? Can we love the waifs and strays thrown away as if they were rubbish? Lord, we need a lot of work done in us to do it. We need a lot of fear overcome. Bring change.
Warrior god who returns from battle covered in your own blood: bring change in us.
Warrior God who fought your battle by standing still while the oppressors murdered you: bring change in us.
Warrior God who showed us that doing that somehow won the battle: bring change in us.