A Prayer for Charlottesville

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute."   —Proverbs 31:8

This ancient proverb has timeless relevance to those of us who believe and apply the gospel. We have to speak up.

We must speak up for the unborn; speak up for those around the world in child slavery; speak up for the lost, who are heading toward a Christless eternity apart from the gospel.

Children might understand this if they think of a playground bully, picking on the kids who are new, who are not cool, who are weak, or who look different.

Yesterday in Charlottesville, Virginia, white supremacists were carrying flaming torches, and some were carrying Nazi flags. These emblems represent the evil of racial superiority. They say to those who are not like them, “We will dominate you.”

As Christians, we open our mouths to say to African Americans and all minorities: We are with you, and not with them.

We say to white supremacists: You do not represent the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And so we pray:

"Thus says the Lord, let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord."   —Jeremiah 9:23-24

God of steadfast love, would you show your steadfast love to those who live in fear today. In love, we mourn with those who suffered loss in Charlottesville. We praise you for the saving love shown to us in Christ.

God of justice, would you exercise your justice in the restraint and punishment of evil. We pray for those whose hearts are captive to the spiritual bondage of racial superiority. Would you set them free through the power of the gospel.

God of righteousness, we know that our only hope of righteousness is in Christ. As your church, grant us grace to seek first your kingdom and your righteousness in our hearts, in our city, and in the world.

You are the Lord, who delights in these things. We believe that these things can be, through the gospel. And we believe that they will be, when, through the gospel, you renew all things