Praying for Racial Justice

June 2, 2020

As we’ve witnessed our nation ignite this past week — both figuratively and literally — we’ve been filled with deep anguish. We watched the senseless death of yet another person of color, and were painfully reminded, once again, that liberty and justice for all remains a distant vision rather than a present reality. Against the haunting backdrop of racial segregation, inequality and trauma from our collective history, we ache for understanding. We long to untie the tight cords of injustice that have had a grip on our nation for far too long.

At Medical Teams International, our calling statement begins with five words: Daring to love like Jesus. What does it look like to lead with his sacrificial love in these times, when our words fall short, but our silence is costly? What is this love asking from us, from those who call ourselves followers?

We see throughout scripture the example of prayer and fasting during times of mourning and deep repentance, to seek an encounter to hear from the Lord. Jesus exemplified this often throughout his ministry on earth.

The Lord says to “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

Joel 2:12

And so this is where we start in our response. This week, the Medical Teams family is joining together globally for a day of prayer and fasting, a time to mourn together and offer personal prayers of lament as we seek to return to the Father with all our hearts.  

We cry out to God because it is not only important, but necessary. Lament isn’t a word we use often but as a noun, it is a passionate expression of sorrow or grief. It can be a song, hymn or poem of mourning. As a verb, it means to cry out to God to express sorrow, mourning or regret aloud. 

As we lament, we offer a unifying cry of solidarity with our oppressed brothers and sisters, both here and around the world. As we fast, we realign our hearts with the Father’s toward reconciliation, restoration and peace.

Will you join with us?

We are encouraging our fellow colleagues, pastors and leaders of the faith-based organizations we serve alongside to guide your teams and parishes in a day of prayer and fasting, so that as a body of believers we can together begin to hear from the Lord and begin the slow work of leading during this time with a posture of humility and repentance.

It must start here, with us. We are listening.

Below is a list of resources we’ve compiled as a starting point on this journey:

An Example of Guided Prayer
by Garrett Kell

What is a Christian response to injustice?
Stare at it (Eccles. 4:1)
Groan with grief (Rom. 8:22)
Lament before God (Ps. 13, 77)
Pray desperately (2 Chron.20:12)
Be angry without sinning (Eph. 4:26)
Weep with the hurting (Rom. 12:15)
Rescue the oppressed (Prov. 31:9)
Pray for the oppressors (Mt. 5:44)
Rebuke Oppressors (Is. 1:17)
Speak against injustice (Eph. 5:11)
Repent of your own injustices (Rom. 2:1-4)
Do justice (Mic. 6:8)
Entrust vengeance to God (Rom. 12:17-21)
Hope in Jesus’ return and the Day when evil and tears shall be no more (Rev. 21:4).

Come, Lord Jesus.

Suggested Scripture for Personal Reflection and reading:

Psalm 124
Psalm 6
Lamentations 3:19-33 (the Message)
Romans 12:15
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Jeremiah 12:1-6
Psalm 27:1-6.

Guidance for organizing a service of lament

A thoughtfully compiled list of anti-racism materials including articles, podcasts and books for adults and children.

Tips for fasting for beginners