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“Pray for Baltimore” by Rev. Bonnie McCubbin of Baltimore’s Good Shepherd UMC

April 28, 2015

SPECIAL EDITION OF MY BLOG. Please join me in these prayers for the situation in Baltimore, written by a sister United Methodist pastor there, writes all that follows —

As our City is torn apart with protests and violence surrounding the case of Freddie Gray, we do not have answers. We only have questions. So, as people of faith, we are called to reach out to the One with the answers, the One with the strength to pull us through: Almighty God. I wrote this prayer this morning, after praying for days and dreaming of the protests last night. You are welcome to use or share this for your own personal use or in a faith setting, with proper attribution.

Pray For Baltimore
By: Rev. Bonnie McCubbin, Good Shepherd UMC, Baltimore

Out of the depths we cry to you, O Lord, Lord hear our voices! Let your ears be attentive to the voices of our supplications!

Almighty God, you tell us that justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream; but we do not see, hear, feel, or sense justice or righteousness in Baltimore this day. Our great city is torn asunder: police and citizens; black and white; rioters and peaceful demonstrators. And many of us are caught in-between. Thrust into the national spotlight, we feel the pressure to handle this well. Lord, let your justice roll down; let your righteousness flow this day! Unite us, we pray.

God of Suffering, so many people are praying for the Family of Freddie Gray in this time of tragedy. No family wants to loose a son so young. Comfort them in their time of need; draw those of them who remain on this earth closer to one another, and closer to you so that one day, they may experience the peace and joy that can only come through eternal life with you.

God of Peace, the protestors think that they are doing good work to bring attention and change to a city that is plagued by violence and a history of police brutality. Lord, give them clear minds and steady hands and feet. Let them demonstrate peacefully so that no one and nothing gets injured or broken. We are already broken enough in this city. Keep them safe. And give them the good sense to go home at an appropriate time. Keep the outside agitators to a minimum—we Baltimoreans can agitate ourselves enough!

God of Grace, the Police need our prayers too. They are tasked with a difficult job that none of us want to do. As people march in protest against them, they must stand and protect the rights of the protestors. They are tasked with keeping order in an order-less situation. We sometimes forget that they too are human beings, Blessed Children of God, who have families—mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, and cousins—too. We like to group everyone together, but we can’t do that. Each officer is a unique person. Each officer needs our prayers. Each officer is putting their life on the line to protect ours. Help us to be grateful, even as we wait for details in this case. While yes, there are some bad officers, just like in any other profession, the vast majority are trying to do good. Enable and equip them for their calling; and keep them safe and level-headed in tense situations.

God of Wisdom, the Investigators are caught between a rock and a hard place. Tasked with ensuring justice is done on all sides, no matter what they ultimately discover; no matter whether they decide to prosecute or not; someone, some group will be angry. Let your wisdom prevail. Let your justice be done on this earth and in heaven. Lord, part the seas of violence, anger, and discontent to make a way where there seems to be no way.

God of Order, who created this world out of chaos, we feel like we have plunged back into chaos once more. Bring us out of this chaotic time. Guide the leaders of our City—elected and grassroots—so that they may guide us out of this mess into the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey. We lift up to you by name, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony Batts. Guide them we pray.

God of Us All, for the rest of us who don’t know what to do; what to say; what to think; or where to turn; help us to turn to you. Strengthen us and guide us to feel like prayer is enough and to seek peace wherever we may find ourselves.

Out of the depths we cry to you, O Lord, Lord hear our voices! Let your ears be attentive to the voices of our supplications!

Amen and Amen.

 

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