I have to admit that I hardly know what to say. I’ve been seeing protests and unrest on television, and I’ve been hearing so much hostility and conflicting opinions on the news. I read about the Black Lives Matter movement, Antifa, systemic racism, and white privilege.1 To be honest, I don’t know much about any of these things, and I’m not always sure what to say or do next. But I do know how to pray, and I know that You are the answer.
God, we need You. Our country needs unity, and our people need wisdom. We may be from different ethnic groups, backgrounds, and religions, but we are all of one race—the human race. Help us to understand that we have more in common than we think, that we all bear Your image, and that we share similar feelings, hopes, and dreams.
We’ve all been disappointed and hurt, and we all have struggles. Help us listen to others—to really understand another’s perspective. Please help us to resist presumptions and superficial biases, and to unite around a common purpose—seeking You and reflecting Your perfect goodness, justice, mercy, and love. Help us to recognize and oppose those who would divide us. United, we can achieve great things; but divided, we risk losing everything.
Help every one of us to achieve justice for all people—regardless of their race, gender, or social status. Every person in the world is precious to You. Help us to see people as You see them. Help us to recognize injustice, give us the courage to stand against unrighteousness, and empower us to bear each other’s burdens.
Move in the hearts of our political leaders. Fill them with Your spirit, empowering them to lead with integrity, honor, and virtue. Grant us the wisdom to recognize politicians who are corrupt and see-through baseless propaganda. Help us to discuss policies rationally, offering dignity and respect to all those involved. Raise up leaders after Your own heart and guide us in electing people whose policies will best reflect Your will.
We need healing. Countless families are broken, and many people are in pain. Lives have been shattered, while many continue to endure suffering, tragedy, and strife. We all have our struggles, not a single one is spared. We’ve all been the victims in one form or another. And if we’re honest, we’ve all hurt others through our own wrongdoing. Help us to see that our identity is found in You. Help us to understand that we are not defined by our brokenness, our failures, or even our success.
Please, soften our hearts that we would understand where we have gone wrong. Help us to seek forgiveness from You and others. Help everyone in this country to seek after You, to find You, and to honor You with their lives. Make Your presence known to those who need You and help Your church be a light in this time of darkness. Bring comfort and healing to the brokenhearted, in ways that only You can, allowing them to experience Your joy.
Despite our suffering, and the frustration we feel during such volatile times, we have so much to be thankful for. Although our culture relentlessly tries to convince us that we never have enough, if we’re honest, we have abundantly more than the majority of people in the world.2 Help us to humble ourselves, to be content with the things that we have, and to be grateful for the numerous blessings we enjoy each day. Thank You that we are a nation of free people, not held captive under a socialist regime or tyrannical government. Thank You for the men and women who have fought and died to secure those freedoms.
Thank You for revealing Yourself to us, and demonstrating Your great character, love, and mercy, in the person and work of Jesus. You are always in control, even when times are hard, and also when things look bleak. You’ve promised Christians that You will bring good from our suffering, and we stand firm on Your promises. Thank You for giving us such amazing promises we can cling to, no matter what. Thank You for who You are and all that You have done throughout our human history.
Lord, please help me to learn to love You more, to love my neighbor as myself, to seek justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with You. Please guard our nation and help us to reflect Your holiness in all that we do. We earnestly seek Your kingdom, we long to see Your glory, and we pray that You will be exalted throughout our nation. We give You thanks and praise and look to You with hopeful expectation. Amen.
- For further discussion of these topics, see https://andrewmontano.net/tag/racism/.
- James D. Agresti, “The Poorest 20% of Americans Are Richer on Average Than Most European Nations,” Foundation for Economic Education, August 30, 2019, https://fee.org/articles/the-poorest-20-of-americans-are-richer-than-most-nations-of-europe/.