"God, please continue to work in the hearts of men, women, and children to lead them to peaceful dialogue. Please transform our dialogue from hashtags (#BaltimoreRiots #OneBaltimore #FreddieGray #OurCity) to open ears, loving hearts, and lives characterized by service in our response to Baltimore.
"God, if situations arise that warrant anything less than peacefulness and civility, please give those involved the wisdom and courage to do only what is necessary to bring you glory even if it means setting aside their own hurts, frustrations, and desires to get even. May your Holy Spirit guide each person to make the right decision for themselves, their community, the city, their nation, and their God.
"God, please bring about transformation in the people of Baltimore and elsewhere! We all need to be changed by you as we are a broken people. We are the church. We need your goodness, your courage, your love, and your forgiveness. Our response to Baltimore can’t be created apart from you. As you modeled reconciliation for us by sending your son Jesus Christ to die for us so that we could be reconciled to you, enable us through the power of your Holy Spirit to first rest in the reconciliation we have with you, to seek reconciliation with our neighbor(s), and to take the initiative to bring about societal reconciliation by laying down our perceived rights and privileges.
"God, please cause thousands of people to radically invest in serving, loving, and forgiving one another so that people on all sides of the situation in Baltimore would experience restoration from the brokenness many now feel and see. Help our response to Baltimore to be characterized by transformation; both on a personal level and a societal level.
"God, we pray that those those of us far away wouldn’t first judge and condemn but rather listen, seek to understand, and encourage.
"God, please help us to examine our own hearts and see where we need to grow. We admit that we don’t understand everything about the events in Baltimore nor around the world. We admit that we often don’t even understand our own families or our own hearts.
"God, we pray that ultimately you would make yourself known to many worldwide as you work in and through men, women, and children to bring about earthly reconciliation and eternal hope in your Son, Jesus Christ.
"God, may our response to Baltimore be driven by our relationship with your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen."
The preceding prayer was offered by Brad Bridges Thanks for leading us in prayer for my hometown, Brad.