John 7:6-7 Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil.” (NIV)

Lord Jesus,

These are complicated times

Which try our souls,

Test our spirits,

And conflict with our faith.

The specter of hatred

Has overshadowed our land,

And the confusion of evil

Has frightened our people.

We have lost the path

That promotes peace,

And have fallen from the way

That leads to love.

Lord Jesus,

We need Your Spirit to guide us.

We need Your words to save us.

We need Your ways to mend us.

The Spirit of justice and liberty

Weeps over our land,

Our leaders, and our people.

We know that we have sinned

By allowing ignorance, intolerance,

And injustice to divide us.

Lord Jesus,

Forgive our false ideas

And foolish notions.

Protect us from ourselves,

And the pain we cause

Through pride, self-righteousness,

And indifference.

Give us the courage

To denounce evil,

And disavow ourselves

From prejudice,

Chaos, and hopelessness.

In Your Holy Name,

We pray. Amen.

Pastor John Stuart

Erin Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Unified in Christ, we actively seek to create harmony in a diverse community through compassion, mutual respect, and love.