A Prayer for America after the death of George Floyd

Prayer for America after the death of George Floyd

Gracious and merciful God we give you thanks for our country Canada. We rejoice in the rich beauty of her landscape and of the marvellous mosaic of her peoples. We give you thanks for her collective consciousness by which she offers compassionate care to all who are sick. We thank you too for the border we share with United States of America and for America’s love of liberty and her historic desire to make the world a better and safer place.

We pause and pray the blessing of your peace upon America as she grapples in new ways with the racism that has plagued her for generations. We pray for the family of George Floyd as they mark his death and grieve his loss. We thank you for their pleas for justice and peace. Comfort them in the knowledge that they are not alone and that George will not have died in vain. May his death open doors in new ways to deep conversation about the justifiable fears of young African American men, the prayers of their parents, and the tensions that exist with police authorities.

We thank you for courageous civil leaders who welcome the conversation and in humility bend their knee acknowledging the need for change. We thank you too for all who seek to be faithful in offering their service as officers of the peace both here and there. May this death bring true and resolute action and accountability to make streets safe and free for one and all.

We thank you for those who protest peacefully and hold their breath in the hope that another will not have his breath taken away. Fulfill the vision of the prophet Amos of old that justice might flow like a river and righteousness like a never ending stream. Breathe new life into America not by might nor power, but by your Holy Spirit and bring to fruition the dream of Martin Luther King and all who continue to work and pray to keep alive the flame of love and hope. May the pains of these recent days give birth to new life and true liberty for all her peoples.

We acknowledge too O God, our need as Canadians to continue to fight against racism in the system and in our hearts. Grant to us sensitivity and kindness towards all peoples. We thank you that we live in a time and place when people from so many diverse backgrounds can work, play and live together in this vast land. Open us to each other’s treasured stories and timeless truths that together we might grow in wisdom and live in harmony. Grant that we might see in each and every person the divine image and the beautiful uniqueness that includes people of all colours, creeds, shapes and sizes, ages and orientations.

We thank you for American friends and family and pray for their peace. We thank you too for Americans who have blessed our pulpit and church with their presence and ministry. Watch over each of them and use their gifts to bring healing and hope. Bless them with wisdom and grace as they seek to guide and encourage, shelter and protect their flock.

Now may we as your body, the church, be an instrument of justice and mercy, of unification and peace in our cities. May we stay close to Jesus who is always moving on the margins to include the excluded, to bind up the brokenhearted, to set the prisoner free and to raise us all to newness of life. May the love of Jesus shine in our hearts and in this world, until your kingdom comes in all its fullness and your will is done on earth as it is in heaven, through Christ our Lord, Amen.