Repenting and Lamenting in Times Like These

You are the God who hears:
hear our prayer today for all who lament or repent.
For those among us who face discrimination every day
because of their skin colour,
we lament.
For those among us with white skin who benefit
from racist systems sometimes even without realizing it,
we repent.
For those among us who have struggled and waited so long
for the Promised Land of freedom and equality,
we lament.
For those among us who have acted in racist ways
and have hurt people of colour,
we repent.
For those protesting injustice who face police brutality
and a justice system rigged against them,
we lament.
For those who think racism is someone else’s problem,
and not a problem for humanity,
we repent.
God of hope, show us how to work for justice together,
standing up for what is right,
stepping in when something’s wrong,
shouldering each other’s burdens,
holding each other accountable,
righting the wrongs we’ve done,
speaking truth to power.
We pray for change, lasting change,
for protection for protesters,
for a de-escalation of violence
and for government leaders who listen.
Deliver us from evil, within and without,
in Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

Carol Penner (Carol is a pastor and Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, ON)