Day 25 of our Lenten Journey through Dr. King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech.
The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality, and if we ignore this sobering reality, we will find ourselves organizing “clergy and laymen concerned” committees for the next generation. They will be concerned about Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy. So such thoughts take us beyond Vietnam, but not beyond our calling as sons of the living God.
“Precious Lord,” by Leah Burgess, Co-Founder/Owner at Salt, Life, and Love
A prayer of resistance for 2017
Abba Father, by the looks, sounds, and feels, it appears that we are losing. Lord, we are still marching, resisting, and speaking truth to power. We are still organizing for some of the same reasons your son – our elder brother Dr. King was organizing. We are tired and worn but not in the same ways as those that have come before us. We’ve built privileged and sophisticated technology but how can we use it to build a system that shares with everyone? Lord our eyes need washing as we win more battles on earth!
Ten weeks after we have inaugurated the 45th President of the United States many of us are tired, afraid, enraged, and secretly planning how we will overcome. Too many of us have decided who our enemy is but have not taken proper inventory regarding the ways we are our own enemy.
Lord God, I want to be in your presence knowing I have gone beyond where I stand. But I seek your help to dismantle oppression without using the master’s tools[i]. Lord I desire to get to the other side of oppression. I want to see the other side of classism and racism. I know that you, Lord have the equipment, strategies, and anointing. I believe you have it to share with us just like your other riches. I believe that your words are an astringent to comfort & empower us in this season of outward disobedience to care for the strangers as well as our neighbors.
Father God I plead your forgiveness for having dropped the ball. I trust that you have forgiven us for seeking the dreams of America as we forsake the dreams to distribute wealth and resources to all. Today, many of us are concerned about women, whose bodies are on symbolic auction blocks, children who’ve been offered as a sacrifice to predators and men who choose to stay silent. Father God let your will be done in all of our lives as it is already done in heaven.
We need your glory to shine on the seeds of justice, truth, conciliation, and kindness that we’ve been planting in our social justice gardens. We need to experience your glory in our efforts to organize, encourage, and empower the oppressed. We need to see the manifestation of our faith to challenge systems of oppression.
God in heaven and in our hearts we seek your kingdom first just like in Matthew 6:33 to be inspired and have our feet set on supernatural fire so that we will be moved to walk on troubled waters regardless of disappointment, consequence and disconnection from standard American pleasures! Give us a desire to abide in your resistance to oppression. Give us a desire to keep going until our last breath. Give us a desire to let go of every craving and temptation of shiny things that make us feel comfortable while the disturbed watch us. We need your power Lord. We need your courage Lord. We need your resolve precious Lord. We need your ability and authority to forsake everything that the enemy would use to distract us.
Lord I want us to take our last breath in this season knowing that we have pushed as hard, sewed as many seeds, watered as many gardens, fed as many people, changed as many laws, and developed as many intentional relationships with our neighbors as you, Oh Lord have designed for us. Lord I pray that we have offered cool drinks of water to those that do not agree with our resistance. Lord I pray that we visited as many people trapped in mass incarceration as possible. Lord I pray that you are pleased with every step we took to go beyond what we know in order to build what we believed and dreamed deep – deep down in our souls.
In Jesus name, amen.
[i] Paraphrased statement from Audre Lord “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House”