This is the first in a series titled, “Until Black Lives Matter”
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Ephesians 6:12
Until Black lives matter, let us pray. Pray that this city will regain its lost soul. Pray that Black and brown neighborhoods will be made whole.
Pray, O Chicago, that we will cease to be so cold-blooded. A bloodstained world-class city now flooded with steel rain. With mothers’ pain. With rivers of murder and endless names, lives and souls claimed.
Have we no shame?
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Pray that streets from Englewood to K-Town, from Austin and back down to Roseland will once again ring with children’s laughter, with little boys playing baseball. Resound with the slap of jump ropes against the sidewalk and summer banter more than gunshots.
Pop-pop-pop… Take cover. Another Black body drops. When will the killing stop?
Pray. For divine intervention amid impotent good intentions by the powers that be. Amid the church’s laxity. Amid the abandonment of morality by too many in our community.
Pray against the disintegration of family. Against the infestation of depravity that has eaten at the fabric of this city like cancer. Pray. For vengeance, retaliation or federal troops are not the answer.
Pray for the solution, for resolve, for unwavering will. Pray that peace will be still and confiscate this chaos. Pray that light will swallow up this darkness that fills the hearts and minds of too many young Black men with the insatiable lust to kill and kill again.
Pray. For righteousness exalts a nation, not sin.
Pray that God will transform the hearts of men. However grand the plan to mend this ailing soulless city, let it begin with prayer.
With the faithful fervent prayers uttered by our ancestors whose spirits still yearn for peace, freedom and the posterity of Black people. Prayers that lifted us up from chattel slavery to build grand institutions, even churches with grand steeples.
Prayers that preserved us from cruel slave masters’ hands. Prayers that led us as we walked through the valley of the shadow of death across America’s lynching land, across the desert sands of Jim Crow’s hate-filled plan. The prayers that helped Martin, Malcolm, Medgar and John Lewis stand.
Pray. Like we used to — before complacency set in. Before we began to mimic the oppressor’s plan. Before the glint of materialism stole our spiritual affections like a grand ploy that left us wandering across this Promised Land.
Sinking sand. Suffocation. “I can’t breathe.” But neither can I walk through the hood without hesitation. Bullets whiz without name or discrimination. Death comes suddenly without invitation.
“She was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” they say. But 13-year-old Amaria Jones was dancing in her family’s living room when struck in the throat by a stray bullet and killed last month one day.
We need to pray — just to make it today. So let our requests be made known unto God by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. Mourn the dead. Pray for the living.
Call for the mourning women whose husbands, sons and daughters have been slain. That they may lament for us who remain, stirring within us overflowing rivers of tears. Pray that the violence engulfing this glistening lakefront city for all these years finally loosens its hold.
Pray that we will be bold as we confront the enemy on every side. Pray that His hand will guide.
That He will grant us strength and the strategy to combat this gun violence that burns like wildfire, even as we tire of the shooting and the body count. As killings mount.
Pray that mothers will have the courage to turn in murderous sons. That young men will have the wisdom to put down their guns.
Until Black lives matter.Let us pray…
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