A Prayer for Racism

As I was reflecting on how I could present something personally meaningful this week, I was struck by the news from my home city of Philadelphia of another young black man, son, and father being taken from this world far too soon. And instinctively, just as I have for the last 23 years since my oldest son was born, I immediately thought of him and his brother, my daughter, my husband, my brothers, cousins, uncles and loved ones. As this new name is added to the list of what seems to some to be an overly politicized issue, to me—and a number of people who have experienced life similarly to me—it’s the reality that a life that was created by God and redeemed by Christ is more likely to die in this fashion because of the color of their skin. And so, I share with you my prayer…

Heavenly Father, You see me as a black woman, a mother of two adult black sons and a young black daughter, and the wife of a beautiful black man. We all strive to live a life of love in You. You created us and we are each beautifully and wonderfully made.

You gifted me as a worship leader, an advocate, a listening ear, and as one who exhorts Your people to live in the purpose You’ve placed in them.

You recognize my burdens because of the lived experiences that I share with generations upon generations before me. You love me just as I am, and I pray that You soften the hearts of the people that I encounter who decipher my value based on the skin I’m in.

I pray that people are cognizant of the value I place in my racial identity. That they’d be open to learn of my values, so that the risk of misunderstanding and misinterpretation is replaced with a thoughtful curiosity.

Lord, give us the words to say and the heart to hear. I pray that people recognize that the historical injustices suffered by black men, women and children are a part of our collective story and we all share the responsibility of taking what the enemy meant for bad and turning it into our future good.

Lord, because of those quick, and, at times, unconscious judgements that we make based on our lived experience, and the lens from which we view the world, each of us has a form of bias, whether we recognize it or not. I pray that we take ownership of our humanity, as we have all fallen short of Your glory. I pray that we reflect upon how when we grow closer together, we grow closer to You. I pray that You help us to discern when our biases are interfering with our ability to love our neighbors as ourselves.

I pray for the leadership of Kingsway Church, that they remain steadfast in their example both openly and privately and that you’d guide their actions and reactions. I pray that they continue to lead in love with an openness to listen and learn.

I pray that our local, national and global leaders lead with integrity, that their commitment to public service is mindful of the impact to the most vulnerable.

And as leaders of our homes, I pray that You’d watch over our hearts and remove any barriers to your grace that might oppress or offend. Please fill our spirits so that we might give of ourselves in the services of justice, love goodness, and walk humbly with You, dear God, I pray. Amen.

by Danielle Boardley
Danielle, along with her husband Dominic and children, moved to NJ in April 2014 and began attending Kingsway shortly thereafter. Quickly accepting the invitation to go through Growth Track, they learned more about the church, their spiritual strengths, and landed on the Worship Arts team. Danielle values spending quality time with her family and finding ways to express herself creatively. Joining the Kingsway blog team was yet another exciting opportunity to serve through creative expression. Her love of writing began in her youth when she was introduced to the works of Maya Angelou. Inspired by her prose, Danielle published a book of poetry in 2007.