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Even as our world continues to wrestle with the ramifications of COVID-19 and the economic crisis, we are bombarded with acts of escalating racism. As people of faith we must ACT NOW to end racism— action that is accompanied by prayer for guidance, healing, and protection. These posts are offered to unite our actions and our prayers for the sake of God’s justice.

The Gifts of Wisdom (Proverbs 8:8-14; 17-21 NRSV)

The Scripture reading is drawn from Sunday’s lesson for June 21, 2020 ©Uniform Lessons Series.

All the words of my mouth are righteous;
    there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
They are all straight to one who understands
    and right to those who find knowledge.
10 Take my instruction instead of silver,
    and knowledge rather than choice gold;
11 for wisdom is better than jewels,
    and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
12 I, wisdom, live with prudence,
    and I attain knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.
Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
    and perverted speech I hate.
14 I have good advice and sound wisdom;
    I have insight, I have strength.

17 I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me diligently find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
    enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,
    and my yield than choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
    along the paths of justice,
21 endowing with wealth those who love me,
    and filling their treasuries.

Becoming the Christian

Prayer by Nathaniel D. West of the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology,
Virginia Union University, is taken from United Against Racism, ©New York: Friendship Press, 2018, p. 126-127.

Most gracious and heavenly God, with a humble mind and a contrite heart, I submit this prayer, acknowledging that at times, I have not lived up to the promise of glorifying You and edifying humanity. I admit that I have not always given to others the same love and kindness that You freely give to me.

Forgive me, God, for the negative judgment I have placed on others simply based on the color of their skin. Forgive me, God, for creating and believing in stereotypes that diminish and demean others. Forgive me, God, for constructing discriminatory policies and participating in inequitable practices that have benefited me personally while simultaneously demeaning and degrading others. Free me from the traps of selfishness and individualism that cause me to discount, dismiss, and even disapproved of the cries, complaints, and concerns of others.

Lord, I not only seek Your forgiveness; I also ask for guidance. Lead and guide me in the right paths—the paths of justice, the paths of equity, the paths of truth, and the paths of righteousness—for the cause of Christ. Change me so I can be a voice for the voiceless, a healer and a helper, an advocate and an activist. Use me to make the crooked paths straight, to mend the brokenhearted, and to rebuild that which has been torn down.

God, I simply want to be and do that which I have been created for. Thank You for healing me, thank You for building me up, thank You for forgiving me, thank You for loving me, thank You for blessing me, and thank You for seeing me. Now, God, use me as an instrument of healing, an instrument of building, an instrument of forgiving, an instrument of loving, an instrument of blessing—so when people see me, they see You. Amen.