Photo by Spencer Means used under Creative Commons License

Mother Emanuel

(Photo by Spencer Means)

A prayer based on For Healing from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals for Charleston, SC and Mother Emanuel AME Church.
God —
We ask for mercy.
We plead for peace.
We ask for protection,
but we cannot find it.

Why do we suffer?
Why do we hurt?
Is the only answer the eternal abyss of space?
Is the only answer the damning quiet of the night?
Is the only answer the silence of stars, morning and evening?
Is our only answer the whirlwind of Job?
It’s not enough.

Why do the wicked flourish,
while the righteous waste away?
Why do the wicked escape,
and the faithful die in sanctuary?
We are left speechless, left with no words
but those we are supposed to say:
“I will trust in you, my God.”
It’s not enough.

On days like these, we need more.
On days like these, when evil seems to win, we need more.
We need assurances from more than
Activists, Legislators, Writers,
Opinion-Makers, Newspapers, and Blogs,
that Black Lives Matter.
We need assurance from you, God.

We need your promise fulfilled, the promise
Mother of Emmanuel spoke —
Your mercy is for those who fear you,
from generation to generation.
You have shown strength with your arm;
You have scattered the proud,
You have brought down the powerful,
and lifted up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.

On days when it is too difficult
for our souls to magnify the Lord,
Remember your mercy.
Remember your promise.
Remember us,
but most importantly,
Remember those who are Black,
those whose lives must matter.
Remember your mercy.
Remember your promise.

We ask for the sending of your healing Spirit,
who came to us through Emanuel.
This Spirit gathered your people in times past
to be warmed by the fire of your presence.
By this warmth, may all Black lives matter,
and may all those who have died in Charleston,
in a house that bears your name,
be taken into your care and healing.



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