Prayer: Help us admit that racism is real

Prayer: Help us admit that racism is real

Monday before Easter: This is the second prayer in a Holston Conference series for racial justice.

OUR GRACIOUS AND LOVING GOD, we come to you, in all humility, recognizing that racism in all its forms continues to exist in our world, our nation, our communities, our churches and in ourselves. It is part and parcel to the culture in which we live and breathe and have our being. And, yes it is institutionalized, no matter how much some continue to deny that truth. It continues to influence the opportunities that people of color have and are even offered. Surely, Lord, we are aware that the field of play for realizing one’s best self is not equal when it comes to that which divides us as much or more than anything else, the color of our skin.
Help us simply to admit that racism is real; it is damaging to the human psyche, heart and soul. 
So, gracious and loving God, we ask for your help. We know the existence and perpetuation of racism, in any form, is repugnant to you. Perhaps, because racism is such an ingrained and subtle part of the culture in which we exist, for many of us, the best we can hope for is to be anti-racist racists.
And, yet, Lord, we long to be more than that. We long for the day when we truly do, in all sincerity come to value every human being without considering the color of their skin. Yes, we long for the day when we recognize and proclaim that all of us are beloved children of God. Yes, we long for the day when we value each other for the contributions we make to the well-being of all of us. Yes, we long for the day when we celebrate the beautiful diversity of color and the very rich blessings that is ours because we are different! 
We do not seek to eliminate your gift of human color to us, not at all, we would delight in it! Yes, we just want the opportunity to rise to our better selves without the demonic restraint of racism. We do long for such a world. O Lord our God, you know better than anyone that we cannot accomplish a world without racism on our own. It is that simple. Help us, please help us!
Therefore, we call upon you once again to send the Holy Spirit to us as "it is the virtue of the Holy Spirit that enables us to be who we ought to be and the energy of the Holy Spirit that enables us to do what we ought to to do.” Come Holy Spirit, Come Holy Spirit! We pray in the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.


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Doug Fairbanks

The Rev. Dr. Doug Fairbanks has served as a United Methodist minister and leader for more than 50 years, even after retiring in Holston Conference in 2018. His first seminary degree was achieved at Gammon Theological Seminary, a historically Black ...