Twelve Prayers for Racial Reconciliation
Although the issues with African American and Police Relations have been resurfacing over the past several years, the events of September rocked the world of many Charlotte families, churches, and individuals. Suddenly this semi-distant issue was in our neighborhood, literally down the street. Many people are taking sides, yelling opinions, enraged, or even quietly overwhelmed by the news, social media, and personal conversations. In the midst of the aftermath, two friends, Morgan and Emily, called on each other yearning for understanding and help to process what was going on. They met through a campus ministry several years prior and had a deep bond in Christ, but lost touch after college. They called on each other because they knew their different vantage points would be incredibly helpful in understanding how to think and pray. They also knew that their conversation would be safe, candid, and unhindered, because of their deep friendship and ultimate reliance on Christ and the Holy Spirit to lead them both.
Morgan and Emily both grew up in Charlotte, NC. Morgan was raised in North Charlotte with African American family and friends, while Emily was raised in South Charlotte with predominantly white friends and family. Morgan grew up attending a predominantly black Baptist church, but she did not become a believer until her freshman year of college through a campus ministry. Emily grew up in a predominantly white Presbyterian church embracing the gospel at a young age, but not facing real testing until college. Morgan graduated from UNCC and became a pediatric nurse in 2012. Emily returned to Charlotte after graduating college in Pennsylvania. She has taught high school art in inner-city public schools for three years. While Emily remained mostly unaffected by racism until her experience teaching inner city school, Morgan has wrestled with the realities of being bicultural her entire life.
First of all, I am so thankful to Jesus who hears us when we pray and desires for us to be reconciled to him and to each other so much he died on the cross to provide a way. Secondly, I am so thankful so many of you joined us in Prayer today, what a gift it has been come alongside you all and pray for racial reconciliation. It is a brave and purposeful step toward healing. I will continue to ask Jesus to use this day of prayer as a stepping stone toward more action steps in our lives. You took a big step in taking the time to pray for this topic, lets not stop here. Thirdly, I am so incredibly thankful to Morgan and Emily the brave and beautiful Jesus lovers behind these prayers. Ladies, you are an example to us all of how to be reconciled to one another.
IDEAS FOR NEXT STEPS: If this Day of Prayer has moved your spirit to action I want to invite you to look at a few resources to help you on this journey.
First and foremost I want to encourage you to reach out in friendship to people of color if you are darker skinned and if you are a person of color reach out to a white friend. Ask them to coffee tell them about this day of prayer and how it made you want to take steps of reconciliation in your hearts and relationships. Let the day of prayer bring up the awkward discussion of race. Then be prepared to listen, be patient and fight for this friendship.
https://beabridgebuilder.com Is my favorite resource out there on racial reconciliation. There is a blog, facebook page and so many other good things to help us build bridges.
This is an interesting tool to watch just to get an idea of what people are thinking from all different races. The videos are old and not great quality but the content is good. http://www.stirfryseminars.com
A candid conversation about race, Grace and Church between a black pastor and a white pastor.
Christen Cleveland speaker/author/theologian/professor
PBS Black Culture suggestions
The Talk Documentary
Book list coming soon on another blog post!
Read books by authors of color: African American, Latinos and Asians and Middle Eastern people
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