High school and college years excluded, I’ve been an early riser for most of my life. My poor mother had a hard time keeping me from getting up early in the morning. She knew when I got up that I would wake her up. I knew that as soon as she got up, I could go outside and play. I was excited to get the day started! There were adventures to be had, trees to climb, dirt to dig in, new bugs to be discovered, and so much more. The new day held promise!
It’s interesting when you stop to think about the excitement of a new day. There really are no guarantees that the day will turn out to be what is called a “good day.” It could turn out to be a “not so good” day. It could even turn out to be a “tragic” day. Unfortunately, we seem to be in a cycle of “not so great” days. Not only are COVID cases rising and the death toll mounting, we have also witnessed the evils of injustice and racism. So, this morning I struggled to get up because my heart hurts for the tragedies that have plagued our recent days. I must confess that that is a huge understatement. The tragedies of racism and injustice have plagued our existence for hundreds of years. So, on a morning of mourning, when the excitement of a new day didn’t bring the thrill that it often brings, I wrote with a heavy heart the following words as a prayer because, in my sadness, I just didn’t have the voice to utter them out loud.
Today, I am once again heartbroken and struggling with words to pray. So, throughout the day I will pray names: George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor. Lord, have mercy!
I will pray against the evils and injustice of racism. Lord, have mercy!
I will pray for peaceful protests and acknowledge the anger and hurt over the injustices suffered. Lord, have mercy!
I will pray for protection and wisdom for protestors and for police and other law enforcement. Lord, have mercy!
I will pray for leaders with whom I find myself in deep disagreement with the handling of such a painful crisis. Lord, have mercy!
I will pray for cities where protests are taking place. I will pray for our city, our nation, and our world. Lord, have mercy!
And I will pray, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me." Lord, have mercy!
None of these prayers are profound. And at my loss of words and knowing how exactly to pray, I trust that the Holy Spirit intercedes with groans that words cannot express. O God, may Your kingdom come, and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
And one additional prayer: Lord, in your mercy, will you guide us to live and act in ways consistent with your kingdom. Christ, have mercy!
--Written the morning of Tuesday, June 2, 2020