This prayer was used at last night’s Common Ground service as they reflected on the events of Ferguson, Missouri.

O God of Justice,
throughout the generations,
you have called our attention to what is wrong among us.
You have sent prophets to bring your mighty word.
You have made justice flow like a river
and righteousness like an ever running stream.

And yet, we gather tonight
with sadness and despair
lifting up your children to you.

We come in memory of John Crawford,
who was unarmed and killed by a police officer
on August 5 at the age of 22
in Beavercreek, Ohio.

We come in memory of Michael Brown,
who was unarmed and killed by a police officer
on August 9 at the age of 18
in Ferguson, Missouri.

We come in memory of Ezell Ford,
who was unarmed and killed by a police officer
on August 11 at the age of 24
in Los Angeles, CA.

We come in memory of Timothy Thomas,
who was unarmed and killed by a police officer
on April 7, 2001 at the age of 19
in Cincinnati, Ohio.

We come in memory of all those
who have died at the hands
of those sworn to protect them.

We pray, not just for the victims of this violence,
but for the perpetrators.

We lift up all those who serve their community
as police officers of many kinds.
May they fulfill their duties with equity,
with a justice that reflects your own.
We come confessing that our system is broken
and in need of your restoration.

We come because the people of Ferguson are angry,
righteously so.

O God of justice, we come before you
bearing the burden of racism
raging against the horrors of violence
watching our communities crumble
From the depths of our despair and grief
we have been lead to think there is no other way.

But, you are not just the God of justice.
You are the God of Love.
You are the God of Creation.
You are the God of Hope.
You are the one, who loved us enough
to suffer with us,
and so, we know that you suffer now.

And so, we come
not just to remember,
not just to lift up,
not just to worship,
but to be transformed.
We come so that our despair will become hope
our hope will become love
and our love will become work.

Work to build Your world
where mothers never weep
because their children’s bodies
lay broken on the sidewalk
killed by those who had sworn to protect them.

where the color of someone’s skin
never determines the value of their life

where Black lives matter,
where all lives matter.

That is the world you envision for us,
O God of Justice
and that is the world you call us to build.

Equip us for this work.
Transform us to live justly with our neighbor
To encounter difference as a reflection of Your glory.

And so we ask this night,
for you to take all this we bring
and transform it here
that we might be sent forth
doing your will.

In your son’s name we pray, amen.

avatar1   Abby King-Kaiser is the Assistant Director of  the Ecumenical and Multifaith ministry at the CFJ.  When she is not working long hours preparing for Common    Ground and updating social media for the CFJ, she enjoys spending time with her family, especially her two kids, who are absolutely adorable.