The following prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. Daran Mitchell at Shiloh Baptist Church on September 30, 2019 in Greensboro, North Carolina at the Mass Meeting that concluded the North Carolina We Must Do M.O.R.E. Tour stop. All roads lead to Washington, D.C. on June 20, 2020!
Loving, Creating, Giving, and Compassionate God,
You hear the cries of 147 million victimized by the cruel and brutal avalanche of poverty.
You hear the appalling silence of those who favor religion over relationship.
We confess that too often our prayers are but empty phrases, sounding brass, tinkling cymbals, vain repetitions, pious irrelevancies, and sanctimonious trivialities.
We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end war;
For we know that You have made the world in a way that people must find their own path to peace within themselves and with their neighbors.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end poverty;
For You have already given us the resources with which to feed the entire world, if we would only use them wisely.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to root out prejudice;
For You have already given us eyes with which to see the good in all people, if we would only use them rightly.
Give us the courage to continue to pray with our feet, shout with our votes, dance with our protest, speak with the tongues of resistance, preach with the rhetoric of redemption, sing with the urgency of now, and love in the language of our ancestors.
Make our churches war rooms again!
Raise up leaders who will do more than entertain and capitulate to the dictates of Pharaoh and Caesar . . .
We not only rebuke the spirit of unjust laws, racism, sexism, classism, militarism, capitalism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, racist gerrymandering, police misconduct and violence, voter suppression, ecological malfeasance, and religious nationalism, but we rebuke structures, principalities, powers, politicians, and religionists that perpetuate them . . .
Breathe upon dry bones and make us an army, not an audience . . .
Grant us new eyes for seeing, new feet for marching, strong backs for lifting, and a fixed focus for the voyage.
We pray this in memory of MARTIN, ROSA, VIOLA, MALCOLM, CHAVEZ, AND MEDGAR . . .
. . . GOODWIN, CHANEY, AND SCHWERNER . . .
. . . HESCHEL, MARY, IDA, MALCOLM, CORETTA, BETTY THERESA, ADDIE MAE, DENISE, CAROL, AND CYNTHIA, THE VICTIMS OF THE GREENSBORO RIOTS, TRAYVON, SANDRA, ERIC, AND MICHAEL . . .
We pray and protest in honor of the poor and those who labor for their cause . . .
And we pray in the name and spirit of Jesus!