O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ:
We praise You because You are a good God. In a world that seems filled with brokenness and evil, thank You for taking all that upon Yourself through the cross, so that we might be made whole.
Our hearts go out to the people of Charlottesville, and all those wounded physically and emotionally by the tragic violence of August 12th. We pray especially for the family and friends of Heather Heyer and the police who were killed, that they would experience Your peace and comfort.
We pray also for the protesters who instigated the riots. While some sought only to harm and intimidate their enemies, we realize many — and their supporters — thought they were doing a good thing by standing up for their beliefs, values, and community. O Lord, have mercy on them. Free them from their anger, fear, and shame so they can see how they’ve become the very evil they were fighting against. Show them Your grace, and a better way to heal the ills of society and the pain in their own hearts.
Starting with us. O Holy God, we are no better than they. We the Body of Christ, Your Bride, are no stranger to the politics of division, victimization, and rebellion. We have justified ourselves by our traditions and our own righteousness, rather than owning our sin and seeking Your grace. We have not loved one another as You loved us, our neighbor as ourselves, or our enemies as we have been loved. We have sought comfort in callous indifference or moralistic condemnation rather than embracing and healing the pain of those around us. Or even our own.
Through the blood of Jesus our Savior, forgive us O Lord. Cleanse us by the power of your Holy Spirit, that we might repent and escape the sin that entangles us. Help us to own both the blessings and the curses we received from our ancestors and society, so we can honor and forgive them. Make us one in You, so that we become a light showing our land Your path to true freedom, reconciliation, and hope.
We ask all this in the mighty name of Jesus our relentless Redeemer. Amen!