In light of the ongoing unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and throughout our nation, All Saints Church would like to offer prayers to help us in our concerns about the unrest — based on prayers collected and issued by the Union of Black Episcopalians.
— A prayer in response to the demonstrators who have gathered to peacefully express their outrage, anger and frustration at the deaths of young black men:
God of unfathomable love, you have created us in your own image. Grant us the grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may respectfully use our freedom and employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among nations. We pray in the name of all that is good and holy. Amen
— A prayer of recommitment to remember past instances of victimization, fear and helplessness fueled in communities struck by violence; to enable us to stand boldly in the continued call to the difficult work of confronting oppression:
Holy God, we are your creation, and in you we know redemption and righteousness. Help us to own our part in past instances of victimization and our indifference to the suffering of others. Strengthen our resolve in times of uncertainty. Restore us to you and to one another. Amen
— A prayer in response to the looting, property damage, and violence done in the midst of the conflict:
Holy and life giving God, you have bound us together in a common life.
Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect. Amen
— A prayer for law enforcement, the military, and all who gather to protect the protesters, the media, the community of Ferguson and other areas in troubled times:
Great Creator, we commend to your gracious care and keeping the men and women summoned to serve and protect us in times of conflict. Defend them day by day with your grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be. Uphold, guide and protect them. Give them wisdom in the exercise of their authority, correct them in any error, protect them from danger, and make them instruments of peace. Amen
— A prayer in response to the restrictions on movement, protesting, media communications, and free press, with hopes for a reasoned use of power, and for accountability in our ordered lives:
Gracious God, bless the leaders of our land, that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth.
To the President and all representatives in government, and those who make our laws in States, Cities, and Towns, give courage, wisdom, and foresight to provide for the needs of all our people, and to fulfill our obligations in the community of nations.
To the Judges and officers of our Courts give understanding and integrity, that human rights may be safeguarded and justice served.
Help us to rely on your strength and to accept our responsibilities to our fellow citizens, that we may elect trustworthy leaders who make wise decisions for the well-being of our society. Amen