Praying Against Racism and Injustice

By Cameron Silsbee

Begin with prayer (15 minutes)

Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting. Have somebody lead a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together.

Spend a few minutes catching up on life and discussing how the last Practice went.

Read this overview

Responding to injustice can be a difficult and delicate thing to do. Responding to systemic injustice brought on by racism is even more complex. The complexity of the problem itself can encourage apathy and inaction. Where do you start? 

For apprentices of Jesus, the complexity of a particular injustice or system of injustice is not an excuse for inaction. It can actually be a helpful reminder of the necessity for the apprentice to pray against injustice, asking God for wisdom in responding to it and fighting against the spiritual forces of darkness that are energizing it.

Discuss the coming week’s Practice (5 minutes)

This week set aside time to act against injustice and racism through prayer. While prayer is only one of the ways to fight against injustice, for the apprentice of Jesus it is a necessary act. All action against injustice must include prayers against the injustice as well. 

Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand… And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6v12-13;18

Van City has released daily practices of prayer: lament, protest, and meditations in response to racism and injustice. This week choose three to listen to, following along with the promptings. You can find all the recordings here, or on the Van City Church podcast.

Next week, discuss with your Community which episodes you listened to and your thoughts and experiences as you prayed against injustice and racism. 

Work through these discussion questions together as a Community (15 – 20 minutes)

  1. In the past year, how often have you prayed against a particular injustice? 
  2. Do you tend to view praying against injustice as a possible distraction or deterrent from acting against injustice in a more concrete way? Or is it the only action you take against injustice?
  3. In what ways could prayer encourage or enhance other acts against injustice?

Take Communion (10 minutes)

Close in prayer (5 minutes)