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Prayer for Grief from Sin

I am overwhelmed by the injustices of this week. The trial of Derek Chauvin is coming to an end and it is unclear if there will be justice for the murder of George Floyd. Police shot and killed Daunte Wright during a traffic stop. In a different kind of violence, Natasha Helfer Parker is being called to a church court to account for the messages of healing and wholeness that she has been giving those of us on the fringes of Mormonism. Anti-transgender bills work their way through too many legislative bodies. All of this is devastating. I have no hot takes or special insight. I am grieving.

Pray with me.

God of Liberation,

In this moment of global pandemic,
In this moment of pervasive injustice,
In this moment of fear and unrest,
We grieve.

We grieve the systems of violence at work in our country.
We grieve the systems of exclusion at work in our church.
We are overwhelmed with these griefs
That sit on top of the pandemic ones,
The personal ones,
And the ones that linger because the mountain of grief is too high.

Where are you, God, in all of this?
Where is your justice?
Your hope?
Where are your compassion and peace?

Help us to locate our spiritual imaginations
In the middle of the discomfort of all we are experiencing
Move us to put our spiritual imaginations to work
In service of undoing our racism
In caring for the poor and the sick
In turning away from the false idols of homophobia and transphobia
That lead us into the sin of self-deception, where we think we are doing good and right when we exclude people on the margins.

Guide us to imagine a church where all are welcome
Guide us to imagine ourselves creating and receiving that welcome
Guide us to imagine loving our neighbor as God has asked and Christ has modeled
Guide us to imagine and embrace a God who rejects bigotry in all its forms.

Give us the courage to reflect on the ways in which we are the oppressor
And move us to join in the personal and systemic work of liberation
From the injustices that flourish around us.
Be with us as we learn to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all of our siblings in Christ.

God, help us to hear your call to build a better world.

Amen.

Nancy Ross
Nancy Rosshttps://contemplativeheretic.com/
Nancy Ross is an associate professor Utah Tech University, where she has been teaching for 16 years. Her Ph D is in art history, but her current research focuses on the history and sociology of religion. She recently co-edited a book with Sara K.S. Hanks titled "Where We Must Stand: Ten Years of Feminist Mormon Housewives" (2018) and has just co-edited “Shades of Becoming: Poems of Transition” with Kristen R. Shill. She is an ordained elder in Community of Christ and pastor of the Southern Utah congregation and works for the Pacific Southwest International Mission Center as an Emerging Church Practitioner.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I love your prayer, Nancy. I am relieved that it appears justice will at least be served in the murder of George Floyd. I hope this is a sign of steps toward better things.

  2. You have a gift for writing prayers, Nancy. As we hear of Natasha’s excommunication and Ma’Khia’s murder, I cling to this prayer more so.

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