What I Asked God to Do on Blackout Tuesday


[On Tuesday, June 2, many writers, journalists, musicians, and members of the entertainment industry observed “Blackout Tuesday,” protesting the unjust murder of George Floyd. On the same day, my home church held a day of prayer and fasting. I think best when I’m writing, and to help guide my own supplication, I drafted the following prayer list. I offer it here not as vain “virtue signalling” (in the Matthew 6:5 sense), but rather in hopes that might be a helpful resource in jump-starting some of your own, ongoing prayers.]

Things I asked God to do on our day of prayer and fasting:

1. Forgive me for my exaltation of comfort, my idolization of privilege; grant me a heart of repentance for squandering the opulence and ease of my life, for the readiness with which I assume silent complicity in injustice.

2. Drive racism from my heart; open my eyes to the little gods of white supremacy I’ve erected all around me, and give me strength to flee from them.

3. Create in me a clean heart; renew in me a steadfast spirit; help me not grow weary in doing good.

4. Give me grace and strength to bear witness to the good gifts of God, the righteous way of the Gospel, the easy yoke of Christ; the values of a kingdom where the humble are exalted, and our suffering savior stands ever with the marginalized and the lynched.

5. Send his spirit of revival into the Church, creating a reformation of the Imago Dei; renewing the zeal of his people for the works of justice and peacemaking, and leading us into true repentance for all the easy accommodations we’ve made for white supremacy; all the doors we’ve left open for the antichrist spirit of racism.

6. Remind us that, because we have peace with God, we can and we must have peace with one another; teach us every day that the work of reconciliation is necessary to true worship and gospel proclamation.

7. Destroy the political idols and allegiances of power that have caused white Christian witness to crumble; that have rendered us mute and impotent in the face of injustice.

8. Bless our community with peace, justice, and mercy in equal measure; lead to reformations of our policing, our criminal justice system, our education system, our voting rights protections, and our healthcare access.

9. Work in Knoxville and in the State of Tennessee to exorcise the demonic hold that the Confederacy still exerts. Cause the statues and the flags to be consumed in holy fire.

10. Act not according to what we deserve but what we need, and provide us with leadership that governs in wisdom and righteousness; that represents not just the interests of power and money but speaks on behalf of the poor and the marginalized.

11. Convert the heart of our President in the fashion of Saul on the Road to Damascus; freeing him from the bondage of white supremacy, blasphemy, and contempt for Christ; instead giving him a heart that bears the fruit of the spirit, that the name of God might be magnified and that our people might see that the Lord alone saves.

12. Grant to all my black and brown neighbors, and especially the family of George Floyd, a peace that surpasses all comprehension.

13. Block us from ever forgetting the trauma and urgency of this moment, or from backsliding into our complacency.

14. Provide accountability for those who murder, who desecrate the beauty of divine image-bearers, who use the name of Christ to excuse atrocious acts of violence; remind us that nothing goes unseen and no one escapes judgment.

15. Give us hope, that we might not grow faint during these wretched days– hope not in politics or power or in some white knight waiting in the wings, but in the goodness of God, whose love endures forever.