JUNE 8 CALL TO LAMENT, FASTING, AND PRAYER

A message from Tom Werner, Moderator of the 38th General Assembly, calling for June 8, 2020, as a Day of Lament, Fasting, and Prayer:

Recent events surrounding the wrongful deaths of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, and George Floyd in Minnesota demonstrate the persistence of severe racial injustices in the United States. The Evangelical Presbyterian Church laments the turmoil our nation is suffering as a result of these and other injustices, and the hurt—property loss, injury, and death—that is visited on those who are responsible by their actions and those who are not responsible but who are hurt as a consequence of sin. In times of national crisis and tragedy, the EPC turns to God and His Word for direction and encouragement.

Genesis 1:27 declares God created man in His own image. As bearers of God’s image, all people share in divine dignity and are equal before Him. Racism is an abomination to God. It distorts, diminishes, defames, and destroys those whom God in His goodness created in His image.

The idea or ideology that one race is superior to another is antithetical to the gospel of Jesus Christ. God’s love in Jesus Christ casts out the fear that generates hatred (1 John 4:18). Christ’s work on the cross has torn down the dividing wall of hostility and hatred so that we are no longer enemies of God and no longer enemies of one another (Ephesians 2:14-18). A key calling of the church of Jesus Christ is the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-20). The church looks forward to the day when believers “from every nation, tribe, people, and language” will join as one and celebrate the redeeming work of Jesus Christ together (Revelation 7:9-10).

Because of the clear testimony of God’s Word, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church unambiguously declares that racism in any form is an abomination to the God who created all races and is antithetical to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Evangelical Presbyterian Church condemns racism and calls to repentance all individuals, groups, and structures that advocate it.

In response, the National Leadership Team has called all members of our churches to a Day of Lament, Fasting, and Prayer on Monday, June 8, 2020.

Use these quicklinks for suggested Laments and Prayers to lift to the Lord, or download the printable, two-page PDF document.

• Laments
• Prayers
• Lamentos
• Oraciones

Laments and Prayers

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Lamentos y Oraciones

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LAMENTS

We lament the pain and anger that has been unleashed with the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many others.

We lament the evil of racism, that denies we are all created in the image of God and are precious and equal as His standard-bearers. 

We lament the reality of racism, which has resulted in inequality and injustice in far too many communities.

We lament the reality that while the ideal in the United States is that all enjoy equal treatment before the law, that ideal has fallen so short of becoming the standard for so many people.

We lament the reality that while all should be treated with dignity and respect by law enforcement, in too many instances people of color—especially African-American men—are subject to violence and even death at the hands of those who have sworn an oath to never betray the public trust.

We lament that in too many instances in history, the Church has failed to understand and empathize with the deep-seated pain, grief, anger, and confusion felt by the African-American community.

PRAYERS

Pray for the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. (Psalm 34:18)

Pray for those who are victims of the rioting and looting. (Psalm 34:18)

Pray for the restoration of peace and public order. (Jeremiah 29:7)

Pray for law enforcement officers who serve and protect all citizens, that they will enforce the law with wisdom and discernment. (Romans 13:1)

Pray for prosecutors to work for truth and justice for every American. (Proverbs 21:15)

Pray for the courts throughout the land to fairly administer justice. (Zechariah 7:9)

Pray for our political leaders, that they will set aside the ideological differences that have so divided our nation and unite to work for the common good. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

Pray that civil unrest will end, and that we will not revert to “business as usual.” Rather, that we will be part of the solution—working to address injustice and inequality in our country. (Romans 12:18)

Pray that we would actively commit to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with the Lord. (Micah 6:8)

Pray that with humility we will engage and listen to the people of color in our lives, even if they share feelings that are hard to hear. (James 1:19)

Pray that we will seek to bear the burdens of those in our congregation and community who are victims of injustice, inequality, and poverty. (Galatians 6:2)

Pray for the gospel to go forth in a mighty way so that hearts would be transformed and people saved from sin. (Matthew 24:14)

LAMENTOS

Lamentamos el dolor y el coraje que se ha desatado con las muertes de George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbury, Breonna Taylor y muchos otros.

Lamentamos la maldad del racismo, que niega que todos fuimos creados a la imagen de Dios y que somos valiosos e iguales como portadores de su imagen.

Lamentamos la realidad del racismo, el cual ha resultado en desigualdad e injusticia en demasiadas comunidades.

Lamentamos la realidad de que, mientras el ideal de los Estados Unidos es que todos disfrutemos un trato igual ante la ley, ese ideal se ha quedado corto en convertirse en la norma para mucha gente.

Lamentamos la realidad de que aunque todos debemos ser tratados con dignidad y respeto por los cuerpos de ley y orden, en demasiados casos la gente de raza negra, especialmente los hombres afroamericanos, son objeto de violencia y hasta muerte, a manos de aquellos que han jurado nunca traicionar la confianza pública.

Lamentamos que, en muchas ocasiones en la historia, la iglesia ha fallado en mostrar comprensión y empatía con el profundo dolor, duelo, coraje y confusión experimentado por la comunidad afroamericana.

ORACIONES

Oramos por las familias de George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery y Breonna Taylor (Salmo 34:18).

Oramos por las víctimas de los disturbios y el zaqueo (Salmo 34:18).

Oramos por la restauración de la paz y el orden público (Jeremías 29:7).

Oramos por los agentes del orden público, quienes sirven y protegen a los ciudadanos, para que desempeñen su deber con sabiduría y discernimiento (Romanos 13:1).

Oramos por los fiscales para que trabajen por la verdad y la justicia para todos (Proverbios 21:15).

Oramos por las cortes, a través de la nación, para que apliquen la justicia con equidad (Zacarías 7:9).

Oramos por nuestros líderes políticos, para que echen a un lado las diferencias ideológicas que tanto han dividido a la nación, y que se unan para trabajar por el bien común (1ra a Timoteo 2:1-2).

Oramos para que terminen los disturbios civiles y que no procuremos “volver a la normalidad”. En lugar de esto, que nos convirtamos en parte de la solución, trabajando para atender la injusticia y la desigualdad Oramos para que nos comprometamos activamente a actuar con justicia, amor, misericordia y a caminar humildemente con el Señor (Miqueas 6:8).

Oramos para que, con humildad, nos comprometamos, y escuchemos a las personas de la raza negra en nuestras vidas, aún cuando compartan sentimientos que son difíciles de escuchar (Santiago 1:9).

Oramos para que busquemos sobrellevar las cargas de aquellos en nuestras congregaciones y comunidades, quienes son víctimas de la injusticia, desigualdad y pobreza (Gálatas 6:2).

Oramos para que el evangelio continúe hacia adelante de manera poderosa, de modo que los corazones sean transformados y la gente sea liberada de la esclavitud del pecado (Mateo 24:14).

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