Prayers for Racial Harmony

For Leaders in the Community

God of all life,
you call us to live in community
and teach us to care for one another
after the pattern
of Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.
We pray for those whose position and authority
affect the lives of others.
Inspire them with a vision
of the community as it might be,
where love of neighbor
and concern for one another
drive out discontent and strife, anxiety and fear.
Help us all to work together
with one heart and will,
with sympathy and understanding,
to serve the common good,
to minister to people in trouble and despair,
and to multiply true happiness among us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland
(Edinburgh: St. Andrew Press, 1994)

For Racial Harmony

God and Father of all,
in your love
you made all the nations of the world
to be a family,
and your Son taught us to love one another.
Yet our world is riven apart
with prejudice, arrogance, and pride.
Help the different races
to love and understand one another better.
Increase among us sympathy,
tolerance, and goodwill,
that we may learn to appreciate the gifts
that other races bring to us,
and to see in all people
our brothers and sisters for whom Christ died.
Save us from jealousy, hatred, and fear,
and help us to live together
as members of one family at home in the world,
sons and daughters of one Father
who live in the liberty of the children of God;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland
(Edinburgh: St. Andrew Press, 1994)

For the Diversity of Races and Cultures

O God,
you created all people in your image.
We thank you for the astonishing variety
of races and cultures in this world.
Enrich our lives by ever-widening circles of friendship,
and show us your presence
in those who differ most from us,
until our knowledge of your love is made perfect
in our love for all your children;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lutheran Book of Worship: Minister's Desk Edition,
(Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1978)

For Prophets

You give us prophets, holy God,
to cry out for justice and mercy.
Open our ears to hear them,
and to follow the truth they speak,
lest we support injustice to secure our own well-being.
Give prophets the fire of your Word,
but love as well.
Though they speak for you,
may they know that they stand with us before you,
and have no Messiah other than your Son.
Jesus Christ, the Lord of all. Amen.

The Worship Book: Services
(The Westminster Press, 1970)

A Prayer by Martin Luther King Jr.

Yes, Jesus,
I want to be on your right side
or your left side,
not for any selfish reason.
I want to be on your right or your best side,
not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition,
but I just want to be there
in love and in justice and in truth
and in commitment to others,
so we can make of this old world a new world. Amen.

Martin Luther King Jr.: A Documentary...Montgomery to Memphis,
ed. by Flip Schulke (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 1976)