For Baltimore…

God of peace, justice, and mercy,
Savior of faith, hope, and love,
There is so much to pray for today, Lord.
Lord, in your mercy, hear these prayers.
Tonight, we pray for the family of Freddie Gray,
That they might experience peace
and comfort in their time of despair.
We also pray for those officers involved in his untimely death,
That they and their families may be kept safe
from threats of violence and revenge.
Still, we pray for justice.
We pray for justice.
We pray for justice.
With these prayers,
we pray for all the women and men
who have sworn their lives to protect us.
Grant them pure hearts
that they may avoid any anger and indiscretion
that comes with their work,
and keep them from corruption and arrogance.
Protect them as they offer their lives in service to others,
And keep us ever conscious
of the difficulties that come with their vocation.
We also pray for those who our society continues to neglect,
or pretends doesn’t exist.
Those at the bottom of the ladder,
who have long given up the hope of abundant life.
Those the system has failed,
and so they’ve grown understandable cynical of the system.
The education system,
the economic system,
the political system,
name it,
it has failed.
Open our eyes to see these realities
of the injustices in our own country and communities.
We pray for the city of Baltimore,
a town so dear to so many of us.
Help us remember words like “believe”
so that Baltimore might restore words like “charm.”
We pray for the mayor
as well for our Governor,
Give them wisdom to know what is right,
and hearts strong enough to do it.
Regardless of whether or not their favorite animal
is a donkey or an elephant!
Teach us that,
while we must never condone violence,
It does not give us the right to condemn others
when we have never worn their shoes.
May the media stations,
from the peacock to the fox,
Learn to exercise better caution
when painting a rhetoric that divides,
rather than unites.
Remind these public voices
that there is more at stake than sensationalism
and ratings.
Help a portion of our country understand that,
Saying #blacklivesmatter
doesn’t mean that, “whitelivesdon’tmatter”
Because we profess that all lives matter,
and that’s not a hashtag
for all are made in the image of God.
This means the image of God can be found
in the so-called “thug,”
the “punk,”
and the “hoodlum,” too.
Correct the delusional thinking
that believes “protesting,” and “rioting,”
are one in the same.
Strike terms like “them,” and, “they,” from our vocabulary
Replace them with a desire to love our enemy,
care for the stranger,
and respect the “other.”
Give us strength to remove the rubble
left over from the chaos
we have made of your Creation,
So that finally,
all people may begin to see the Kingdom of God
that is already among us.
We pray all things in the name of your Son,
who is Jesus Christ, our Lord.

FOR BALTIMORE, by Pastor Kyle Durbin
Centenary UMC, Shady Side, MD
A prayer delivered at a Community Prayer Vigil for Baltimore
A prayer of unity, peace, hope, and love.



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