Why I join in the effort to pray this Sunday for #BlackLivesMatter

This Sunday has been a day set aside for prayer. The request has come from two significant places that affect my own ministry: the Church of God in Christ and then the General Council of the Assemblies of God. Together they are asking for churches to pray this Sunday for racial reconciliation and justice.

We will pray for justice. We will pray for peace. In our city, we will pray for the cultural diversity and for our law enforcement because both work hard to keep our city moving forward.

It has been heart breaking to read some comments from other ministers who think focusing on African American issues for one Sunday is “divisive.” In my view, there are times when someone hurts in the body of Christ… and we all hurt. I feel that hurt from my brothers and sisters in the Church of God in Christ, so as they hurt I hurt. 

After 9/11 some of my first contacts in the days following were with my Muslim friends because I needed them to know their lives mattered. I wasn’t blaming them for 9/11. I wanted to know they were safe.

In the past two weeks the racial injustices of our culture have come to a head once again and there are friends who hurt. As I am asked to pray from my friends, I will join in that effort.

This is a moment for the Church to step up once again and lead the way. I am going to need to ignore a lot of voices who want to simply say “Don’t all lives matter?” for a time as I try to show that the CHURCH should be leading the way in reconciliation.

This was Dr. George Wood’s statement:

Great strides have been made in civil rights and racial reconciliation over the past century, of course, but America still experiences racial divisions. If Spirit-filled Christians cannot find a way to work together to heal these divisions, what hope is there for the rest of the country?

I want to be a part of moving forward. It is my prayer those reading, and those joining us for worship on Sunday, will help with moving forward as well. I will be wearing black in some way this Sunday, as the Church of God in Christ leadership has asked. Perhaps you will join me.

I wish to weep with those who weep. I also wish to carry forward the conversation. I am praying we can do so in my city.

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