The Bible tells us that the children of God are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:28). Our faith should break down the barriers of class, race, sex, and more and allow us to enter a glorious community of believers worshiping God in word and deed — and unity.
Our hearts yearn for that kind of boundary-breaking unity, the kind that comes through the kind of selfless love that Jesus demonstrated for us. As the psalmist said, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1, NIV).
We know we’re not there yet. In fact, sometimes it feels like we’re heading in the opposite direction of the unity God calls us to. How we do make a U-turn?
We start with prayer. Our prayers are an act of faith that our all-powerful God can help heal any divide, just as he did when he came to Earth.
Here are four prayers for reconciliation, submitted by World Vision Volunteer Advocates from around the country:
A prayer for racial reconciliation and justice
Submitted by Ami C. from Illinois
God of mercy and grace,
Our nation grieves the injustice of George Floyd’s death. We lament over the systems and legacies that reap suffering in Black and brown communities. We ache for a world in which being Black does not carry the baggage of higher rates of poverty, incarceration, chronic illness, and infection from COVID-19.
LORD, forgive me for the ways I have ignored racism or benefited from it. Allow me to see myself and my actions honestly. Do not let the truth paralyze me in shame or apathy. Instead, let it open my heart and catalyze my action.
I don’t want to awaken each day to new headlines of death, disease, and dissension. Through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, you assured us that our world will be redeemed. You have promised that justice will roll down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream (Amos 5:24). God, show me how to open the floodgates! Shine your light on the path that you would have me take to bring your kingdom here, to my family, my church, my town, and this nation.
Heal us, and help us to be part of the healing.
In the sacred name of Jesus we pray,
A prayer for reconciliation for ourselves and our leaders
Submitted by Anna K. from Arizona
Since the beginning You’ve created each of us, in Your image. And You are for us. All of us. Today it feels like a chasm between where this nation is, and where You long for us to be. We stand before You in the gap and implore You to bridge the divide.
“Bring them here to me,” (Matt 14:18) You said of things that were inadequate on their own as you walked this broken world (so, all of us). But specifically, we lay the leaders of Your church, and the leaders of this country, at Your feet. We need your wisdom, we need Your help. Where thoughts are not Your thoughts, align them with Your own. Where ways are not Your ways, guide them to be Yours. Where other kingdoms are in the way, let Your Kingdom come. To this city. To this state. To this country. Until justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. (Amos 5:24)
We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on You (2 Chron. 20:12).
A prayer to transform our hearts for justice
Submitted by Bobbi D. from California
Help me to open my heart to understanding the movement of people who live on the margins, the bruised and vulnerable. When they speak, help me hear them. When they tell the truth, remind me of your deeds of power, that I can hear their voices and not be dismissive. Touch my heart that I hear the good news and can move from my current attachments today to the world that you intended for me, even if it costs something. I pray for the strength to move forward, practicing the principle, “justice is what love looks like in public”*, which our Savior Jesus Christ demonstrated with his life. Help me live this out by joining together in my church and advocating for just government policies and programs that make a difference for the most bruised and vulnerable here and across the world.
*Quote is from Rev. Dr. Cornell West, African-American theologian
A prayer for reconciliation in our nation
Submitted by Flavie A. from Maryland
You are a God of reconciliation, and by the power of the death of your son Jesus, allow World Vision and your church to lead the nation in reconciliation.
We believe you are the answer to the divisions in America. You are the hope of glory and nations.
We thank you for your wisdom, power, and love for renewed hearts in true repentance and reconciliation by the power of your Holy Spirit.
Thank you for joining us in these prayers of reconciliation. Who better than God’s people to be a voice for love, justice, and unity in our nation? Christ died to bring reconciliation to all of us; may we demonstrate that to others through our prayers and actions!
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.— Galatians 3:26-28
Send a prayer of encouragement to your government leaders.
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Top photo: World Vision Prayer Walk at Skid Row in Los Angeles, California. (©2018 World Vision/photo by John Fredricks)