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Justice Prayers - March 24, 2021

"Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also." - Psalm 31:9

Mass Shootings in both Atlanta and Boulder 

This week, two mass shootings were committed in the United States. The first, in Atlanta, targeted Asian women, and took the lives of eight people, six who were women of Asian descent. The suspect, a white Christian male, denied racial animus and confessed that the shooting was his attempt to eliminate “temptation” in order to manage his “sexual addiction.” The second mass shooting occurred at a supermarket in Boulder Colorado, and left ten dead, including a police officer. The suspect used an AR-15 assault rifle.

Jesus, you died by violence. We are so weary, so afraid, and so oversaturated with the violence that permeates our culture. 

Help us to see violence clearly: in ourselves, in our communities. Bring new energy to those who can meaningfully address the epidemic of gun violence in the United States. Give us the courage to face the truth of this unique and devastating problem, to root out its cause, and to definitively put a stop to what fuels it. 

We are grieved to know that the Atlanta shooter used what he learned in church to explain his motives. We pray that we, the church, would have the courage to move forward in humility -- willing to honestly examine our theology of gender and sexuality, our investment in white supremacy, our glorification of violence which may lead to violence and suffering. 

We pray, God, for those of us who are Asian Americans whose anger, fear, and oppression are so real, and so often silenced. We pray that those of us who are witnesses to this anger would have the grace to listen, to learn, and to change. We pray for Asian women, who have been sexualized, silenced, and objectified for too long. Change our ways, Lord. We pray for the families and communities of every victim who are now immersed in grief. We pray for pastors in Atlanta, in Boulder, in every community suffering in the wake of violence -- old and new. 

May we be unsatisfied with simple prayers and empathy. We pray that our urge to comfort them would include a willingness to make change, to hold leaders accountable to legislate change, to hold the church accountable to stand for change. 

Fire in a Rohingya Refugee Camp 

We pray for the thousands who have been left homeless once again, this time as a fire in their Bangladesh refugee community has ravaged their temporary place of safety. Comfort those who grieve the 15 who have died. Bring comfort to the hundreds who are missing and displaced. Bring hope to those who, once again, have lost everything. 

Children Detained at the U.S. Border

God, we pray for the record number of people who are arriving at the southern border of the United States, hoping for asylum and safety from the forces of poverty, disaster, and violence which have forced them from their homes. We pray especially for the thousands of children who are today being kept in detention, in inhumane conditions, often for longer than is legal to detain them. Keep them safe, protect their health, and spare them from further trauma, Lord. Empower us to hold leaders accountable for decisions which fail to treat people with dignity, and empower us to offer hospitality to the stranger in our midst.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Movie Screening: Something in the Water

We’re hosting a digital screening of “Something in the Water.”  Watch it anytime from the comfort of your home and tune into a discussion group to talk about your reaction and what we can all do next! 

Call Congress for Permanent Immigration Solutions!

The Dream and Promise Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act will provide a long-term immigration solution to millions of eligible immigrants - many of whom are essential food workers, health care professionals, and parents to U.S. citizen children. Take action here.

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