One of the five ways we can respond to Tuesday’s verdict, as Pastor Abe encouraged us to consider in his blog that night is to PRAY.

“Pray. Jesus taught us to be persistent in prayer. It is a theme throughout
the New Testament. Let us continue in fervent prayer. Sometimes calls to
prayer can sound like a call to passivity. This is not a time for passivity.
To persist in prayer ought not mean that we neglect the work that God sets
before us. To the contrary, persistent prayer fuels the work of righteousness.
It empowers the work of justice. It is a conduit of God’s healing and restoration.
It anchors us in the Holy Spirit and the power of God. Prayer puts us in the presence of the Almighty. And if our hearts are open to it, prayer opens our ears to hear God’s voice.”
-Pastor Abe Johnson

Today, I invite you to prayer. Find a place in your home where you can find quiet and prepare your mind, heart and body to be attentive for God’s voice. Pray alone or with family members who live with you. Light a candle to represent the presence of the Holy Spirit within and around you. I invite you to pray with me the words I have written and as the Holy Spirit leads you to pray.
-Pastor Susan Quinnell

LORD, CAN YOU HEAR US? WE are hungry for YOUR justice, for YOUR restoration and YOUR reconciliation. We are hungry for YOUR love. Speak to us in the midst of our many thoughts and emotions: We feel thankful, we feel sad, we feel like celebrating. We feel relieved, we feel disbelief, and we feel hesitant. We feel pensive and called to action. All while we mourn the tragedy of this time because many lives are impacted by the grave consequences of George Floyd’s death.

MERCIFUL GOD, We adore YOU. YOU have created the heavens and the earth in YOUR GLORY. YOU have shaped each one of us out of dust into people of YOUR IMAGE. YOU have breathed YOUR HOLY SPIRIT into a bouquet of humanity all around this world. We thank YOU for LOVING us humans first. May we learn to love others as JESUS taught us.

We pray for all people of color and nations as they continue to experience hate, discrimination, indignity and injustice. We pray for eyes and hearts to see and to know that You have created each and every one of your children in YOUR IMAGE: GOD’S IMAGE.

We pray for our own personal recognition, acknowledgement and accountability in our own hearts for our actions and inaction that perpetuates racism. We pray for YOUR LOVE to conquer all fear, hate and injustice.

We pray for George Floyd’s family as they continue to grieve his death and have suffered through the trauma of this past year. May God hold each of them in Jesus’ embrace of PEACE BEYOND ALL UNDERSTANDING.

Our prayer is that YOU, OUR GOD, would infuse PATIENCE, KINDNESS, HUMILITY, GOODNESS and SELF-CONTROL into our communities and streets filled with fear, hate, division, injustice and violence.

We pray for the Minneapolis police officers who killed and stood by and watched George Floyd die. We pray for their families. We pray for the entire Minneapolis Police Force, Brooklyn Center Police, State Troopers and National Guard members and their families. We pray for the men and women who are serving in cities all over this country as police protection where protests, rioting and looting have occurred.
O GOD instill calm and compassion in those who serve.

We pray for our leaders: Mayors Frey, Carter, and Elliot, Governor Walz, President Biden, Vice President Harris, Senators and Representatives and other public officials nationwide. Give their leadership humility, discernment, direction and action to listen first to understand, peace and loving kindness to guide others toward learning, courage and boldness to movement and actions of justice for all in support of our humanity.

We pray for the neighborhood business owners in Minneapolis, Brooklyn Center and around the country who have had their buildings looted, damaged or destroyed by fire and violence. We pray for community members who mourn the loss of a friend and have lost resources and access to help for basic needs such as housing and food. While anger, hate, rage, evil and systemic racism have sown the seeds of this tragedy of death and destruction, we pray that each individual would know the promise of YOUR FAITHFULNESS in times of trouble and that YOU are always with us. We are never alone. O GOD in the midst of great pain and sorrow may we see a future of understanding, hope and JOY in YOU. In this present time, do not let us lose sight of YOUR FACE and the faces of each other.

HOLY LOVING GOD, thank you for listening to and hearing us. We are listening for your voice, your word for us, for our city and for our world. We offer ourselves in worship and love to you. We affirm our trust in you. We offer our hearts to you LORD. Move our hearts to justice and to action. LORD, help us to intervene, to act as the hands and feet of Jesus.

O GOD, Do not leave us here at this moment. HOLY SPIRIT please show up here amongst us. Restore us. Heal us. Direct us towards change. Reconcile your people, our humanity.