In light of the fact that some of our great American cities seem to be tearing themselves apart at the seams, the best thing I can think of to say to anyone who reads this is that we should all be praying feverishly for healing in our country. A few thoughts to go along with this…
I’m not suggesting we pray that it all just goes away, like it never happened. One thing that’s clear is that we have an urgent need in our society for reform, to work together to attack and eradicate all forms of racism. As followers of Christ, we should do all we can to give voices to those who are not being heard. I’m pretty sure this is what Jesus would be doing. So in praying for healing, I suggest we ask for God’s help to cure the disease of racism, not just treat the symptoms.
To that end, though, I think we should pray that the criminals who are using George Floyd’s death as an excuse to act like criminals will end their cycle of violence–not only because they are destroying our cities, but also because they are undermining the cause of the peaceful protesters, who legitimately seem to want to improve our society (not destroy it) and who seem to be making a positive difference.
Also, we should pray for our city, state, and national leaders, that cooler, more logical heads will prevail. One thing that has been made clear by the peaceful protesters across the country is that there is a need to identify and eliminate systemic racism, particularly in our criminal justice system. Be that as it may, and while I agree with that, we have to be careful not to choose knee-jerk reactionary courses of action that could be even more dangerous. I just saw a news story that 9 of the 12 Minneapolis city council members announced today that they are going to disband the Minneapolis Police Department. What?? I admit, I don’t know what their plans are, and maybe they intend to replace the Police Department with something different but similar, but I will say that the idea of a major city without any police seems like a colossally bad idea. I for one would never go anywhere near such a city. So we should pray that our leaders won’t do anything catastrophically stupid that ends up endangering even more lives.
Finally, the last thought I’ll leave off with repeats some thoughts from previous posts of mine, but I think they are worth repeating, at least in summary. For one thing, we always tend to act like praying is the last ditch course of action when everything else has failed (“all we can do now is pray…”). However, we should never underestimate the power of the God who crafted the universe, which of course includes our little world and each of us in it. Also, neither should we think for a moment that the turn of events since George Floyd was brutally killed in police custody have caught God off-guard. It may seem to us like things are spinning out of control, but we should console ourselves by remembering that God has it all in His more than capable and loving hands.
So anyway, please join me throughout this week in praying for healing for our nation.