Until black lives matter, let’s pray

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This is the first in a series called “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 the high places. “- Ephesians 6:12

Until black lives matter, let’s pray. Pray for this city to find its lost soul. Pray that the black and brown quarters will be healed.

Pray, O Chicago, that we will stop having our cool. A bloodstained, world-class city now drenched in steel rain. With the pain of mothers. With rivers of murder and endless names, lives and souls claimed.

Are we not ashamed?

Pray that the streets of Englewood in K-Town, Austin and back in Roseland will once again ring with childish laughter, with little boys playing baseball. The clicking of skipping ropes against the sidewalk and summer jokes echo more than gunshots.

Pop-pop-pop… Take shelter. Another black body falls. When will the killing stop?

Pray. For divine intervention in the midst of the powerless good intentions of the powers that be. In the midst of the laxity of the church. In the midst of too many abandonment of morality in our community.

Pray against the disintegration of the family. Against the infestation of depravity that has eaten away the fabric of this city like cancer. Pray. For revenge, retaliation or federal troops are not the answer.

Pray for the solution, for the resolution, for the unwavering will. Pray for the peace to be quiet and confiscate this chaos. Pray that the light engulfs this darkness that fills the hearts and minds of too many young black men with the insatiable desire to kill and kill again.

Pray. For righteousness exalts a nation, not sin.

Pray that God will transform the hearts of men. As grand as the plan is to repair this city without a sick soul, let it begin with prayer.

With the faithful fervent prayers pronounced by our ancestors whose spirits still yearn for peace, freedom and the posterity of blacks. Prayers that raised us from movable slavery to build great institutions, even churches with great spiers.

Prayers that have saved us from the hands of cruel slave masters. Prayers that led us as we walked the Valley of the Shadow of Death through the lynching lands of America, through the desert sands of Jim Crow’s hate plan. The prayers that helped Martin, Malcolm, Medgar and John Lewis to stand up.

Pray. As before, before complacency set in. Before we start imitating the oppressor’s plan. Before the reflection of materialism steals our spiritual affections like a grand ploy that left us wandering through this Promised Land.

Sand flowing. Suffocation. “I can not breathe.” But I also can’t walk through the hood without hesitation. Bullets whistle 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 she was hit in the throat by a stray bullet and killed one day last month.

We must pray – just to be successful today. May our requests therefore be known to God through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. Mourn the dead. Pray for the living.

Appeal to grieving women whose husbands, sons and daughters have been killed. May they mourn over us who remain, stirring in us overflowing rivers of tears. Pray that the violence that has engulfed this glittering lakeside town for all these years will finally release its grip.

Pray that we will be bold as we face the enemy from all sides. Pray that his hand will guide.

May he grant us the strength and the strategy to combat this gun violence that burns like wildfire, even as we tire of the gunfire and the body count. While the murders multiply.

Pray that mothers will have the courage to make sons murderers. That young men will have the wisdom to lay down their weapons.

Until black lives matter. Let us pray …

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