The prayer we offered at Catalyst Church on Sunday, June 21 2015 in response to the terrorist attack on Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.
God, our Father in Heaven and divine Healer,
We gather with you today under a pall. As we sing songs, pray and prepare to hear from your Scriptures, we cannot help but recall only days ago, nine of our brothers and sisters who were killed while they were gathered for the very same reasons. We confess that we cannot help but gather here afraid, angry, confused.
We choose not to run from our grief, our anger, our confusion. Instead, we bring these into our worship. We bring our mourning to you, our Father, our Healer.
We confess that this act of terrorism has demonstrated yet again that our nation is still hobbled by the old sin of racism, that as much as we want to pretend that’s all in the past, these nine martyrs will not let us continue to deny this painful reality: our nation is sick with the sin of racism.
So we gather before you, our Father and Healer. This is not a sin we created – it’s hereditary. We inherited it from our parents and they from their parents before them.
We will not continue to hobble along, pretending this wound is healed even as we still cry out in pain. This is a corporate sin. If the leg is broken, the hand cannot say it is healthy. So too, when we see your Church hurting, we must hurt too. When we see a sickness in our nation, we must admit we are sick too.
We have seen that sickness this week in Charleston, and we can only cry out to you, like the martyrs under your Altar, How long, oh Lord?
We ask today that you heal us. Give us the medicines of your Holy Spirit, that we may be one people who is loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, generous, gentle, faithful and self-controlled. May we learn from the families of these martyrs in Charleston, even as they show the world what your kingdom looks like.
Teach us here at Catalyst what it looks like to be one people, from every race, creed and color. May your kingdom come here in Rowlett, in Texas, in America, in our world. May your will be done here the same way it’s carried out in Heaven.
May our prayers echo those of your son, Jesus. Come quickly, Lord.