Category Archives: Prayer

A prayer for India

God of every country,
we pray for India and its peoples.
Comfort bereaved families.
Work quick recoveries
foe those who battle COVID.
May those who have managed to stay out of harm’s way
continue to stay safe.
Grant the country’s leadership the wisdom
to focus its energies on fighting the virus
rather than on controlling the narrative
about its handling of the crisis.
Lord, in your mercy! Amen.

inspired by and adapted from Dr. Raj Nadella, professor of New Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary

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Filed under Current Events, Friends, Prayer

Virtual prayer vigil

Joining, from afar, the ecumenical prayer vigil held on Sunday, March 21 in the parking lot of the Gold Massage Spa to honor the victims of the Atlanta shooting. This vigil was organized by Korean Central Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, St. Andrew Kim Catholic Church, Emmanuel Korean United Methodist Church, and Lutheran Church of Incarnation. Here are some prayers for the moment.

Christ have mercy.
We thank you for your beloved children whose
lives were taken too soon, too violently in Georgia.
Draw us together to work
against racism and racist violence against Asian Americans.

Christ have mercy.
Inspire us to see each person
in the wholeness you create;
inspire us to see each person
with your gaze of love;
inspire us to see and honor
your image in each person.

Christ have mercy.
Provide love and courage for those who fear
for their safety because of who they are.
Guide us to disrupt systems and practices
that lead to fear and to create a society
in which no one need be afraid.

Christ have mercy.
Grant rest and comfort and strength
to your children who are wearied
by resisting white supremacy.
Sear the consciences of
those who have accepted privilege without interrogation
those who responded with apathy,
those who have expected people who endure racism
to provide the answers and to do the work.
Move us to care for one another
by dismantling systems that wound and drain
your children, our family
and deny your justice and love to all.

Christ have mercy.
Lead us to learn our history –
the history of Asians in America and of Asian Americans –
the history of the violence too often
inflicted by white supremacy
on Asian nations and on Asians in this nation.
May our learning lead us to recognize wrongs done,
repent, and begin the journey to repair.

Christ have mercy.
Move us to demand that
elected representatives in our nation,
in each state and in every community
speak and work to end hate and violence
directed at the Asian American community.

Christ have mercy.
We have work to do.
So much work to do.
Search our hearts,
guide our feet,
hold our hands,
stand by us
as we do the needed work
to disrupt white supremacy
and dismantle the systemic racism
that impacts Asian Americans
and Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Prayer

Praying with action after the shooting in Atlanta

Sometimes we pray with words. Sometimes we pray with actions. After the horrific shootings that left eight people, six of whom were Asian Americans and seven of whom were women, dead; today, in a time when hate and violence against Asian Americans is increasing; today seems a time for actions and words both. Here are some action ideas. What would you add?

Contact the President by email or on the contact line at 202-456-1111 and contact your Senators and Representative with the simple message: “What will you do to end anti-Asian hate and violence?” Additional asks could be:
Investigate and prosecute instances of hate crime and hate speech against Asian-Americans;
Increase the level of security and safety for Asian American individuals and communities;
Educate people about Asian history and the significant contributions Asians and Asian-Americans have made to this country.
With thanks to So Jung Kim who suggested a number of these advocacy points in a Facebook post.

Support the work of organizations such as:
Asian-Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
Asian American Christian Collaborative
CAAAV (Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence)
Asian Americans for Equality in New York.

Take part in a bystander intervention training offered by Asian-Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago.

Learn about the history of Asians in America. Here are some places to start. What else would you add?
Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian AmericansRonald Takaki
The Chinese in America – Iris Chang
Everything You Need to Know about Asian-American History – Himilce Novas and Lan Cao
COVID at the Margins: Anti-Asian Racism in the wake of COVID-19 – a Presentation by the Rev. Laura Mariko Cheifetz, organized by the Presbyterian Self-Development of People Committee
The Chinese Exclusion Act – A special video presentation of American Experience
Asian Americans – a PBS documentary that focuses on discrimination experienced by Asian Americans, the perseverance of Asian Americans, and the roles Asian Americans have played in shaping the nations’ story
With thanks to the Rev. Phil Tom and the Rev. Samson Tso for assembling this beginning list

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Prayer

Words fail and tears flow

A prayer poem in the aftermath of the killing of 8 people of whom 7 were were women and 6 were women of Asian descent
Words fail and tears flow.
They squeeze out of the corners of my eyes,
roll down to tangle in the underbrush of beard
until they break free and splatter on the keyboard.
Words fail and tears flow
for Asian and Asian American women
killed in Atlanta; lives violently taken;
your beloved children too soon gone.
Words fail and tears flow
for mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers
partners, lovers, children,
family and friend
who bear this unspeakable horror tonight
and who carry this unbearable pain into the future.
Words fail and tears flow
for communities terrorized and intimidated
by this and countless other violent acts of hate.
Words fail and tears flow
tears of grief; tears of rage.
As words fail, tears
become prayers for
those who were killed,
those who bear wounds,
those who mourn,
those who know fear,
those who would honor your image in all your precious people
and who would work for a better world.
In the name of the one whose tears flowed
at the death of a friend and for the people of Jerusalem. Amen.

With thanks to the Rev. Dr. Christine Hong for the reminder to pray for the families of the women who were killed.

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Poem, Prayer

A prayer for people in our lives

For those who live in faith,
for those who live in hope,
for those who live in love,
for those who do justice
and love kindness
and walk humbly with you,
for those whose living
melts the hardness of our hearts,
touches our souls,
and draws us closer to you,
we give you thanks, O God.
Amen.

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Filed under Friends, Prayer

500,000 and One

More than 500,000,
more than half a million,
in the United States.
More than 2,470,000,
almost two and a half million,
around the world.
The number of people
who have died from COVID-19
overwhelms my mind, God
and fills my spirit with sorrow and anger.
I say the numbers but
fail to comprehend their meaning.
Help me, O God, to focus on another number.
One.
That number I understand.
One.
That number reminds me that
large figures are created
one at a time.
One person.
One beloved family member.
One friend.
One mentor.
One neighbor.
One of your precious children.
Remembering one,
I give thanks for each of your precious children.
I ask you to comfort all who mourn.
I ask you strengthen all who are ill.
I ask you to guide people, communities,
our nation, all nations,
and to lead researchers, technicians,
nurses, support staff, and doctors
to continue efforts
to end the spread of COVID-19
for the sake of the one,
for the sake of the many.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. 

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Filed under Current Events, Poem, Prayer

So, dusty

Friends –
we are dust.
But do you not know
have you not seen
what the Holy One
can do with dust?
All of creation
every blessed creature,
every amazing facet,
every wonderful human being
you and me and all of us,
made from dust by God.
Made from dust and beloved of God.
So Dusty, if I may call us each that.
Go Dusty,
go and live.
Go and love kindness.
Go and do justice.
Go and walk this Lenten journey humbly with God.
Know, Dusty, that
the love of God
the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
and the peace and fellowship of the Holy Spirit
are with us now and forever.
Amen.
17 February 2021
inspired by a blessing from Jan Richardson

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Filed under Lent, Poem, Prayer

To remember, to motivate

God of justice,
God of love,
God of grace,
we thank you for the life of
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
We remember her service to our country,
her compassionate, caring heart,
her fierce devotion to fairness,
her persistence in pushing for equity,
her brilliant dissents,
her commitment to pursuing justice for
women, the LGBTQ community, and people pushed to the margins.
We marvel at the incredible courage and grace
she publicly displayed in the face of illness.
We are grateful that she
“used whatever talent she had
to do her work to the very best of her ability”
and that she helped
“to repair tears in her society,
to make things a little bettert
hrough the use of whatever ability she has.”
We give thanks for the life of
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
May her memory be a blessing.
Amen.

Note: the words in quotations are quotes from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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Filed under Current Events, Human Rights, Prayer

A prayer from Fr. Mychal Judge

Lord, take me where You want me to go;

Let me meet who You want me to meet;

Tell me what You want me to say;

And keep me out of Your way.

— Fr. Mychal F. Judge, O.F.M.

FDNY Chaplain

5/11/33  —  9/11/01

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Filed under Current Events, New York, Prayer

A prayer for awareness

God of all people,
none of us know fully
the challenges that another person faces
the burdens that another person carries
the troubles that weigh upon another person.

As we encounter one another,
inspire us to refrain from quick judgement and easy criticism,
to treat each person gently with grace and kindness and love,
and to seek to understand.
We pray in Jesus’ name.
Amen. 

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