Praying God’s Word in a World of Injustice

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Editor’s Note: The following is a transcript of David Platt’s prayer given at McLean Bible Church on Sunday, May 31, 2020. The prayer was given in response to the death of George Floyd and the tensions, unrest, and violence that followed.

O God, how long?

We lament together, as your people, as we’ve read throughout the psalms in recent days. We lament together over any and every injustice, against any and every person or group of people, including black people, not just in the history of our country, but in the last week.  

Based upon Micah 6:8, we want to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with you. And we lift up our eyes to you for help—Psalm 121—in how to do that.  

We thank you for just law enforcement officers who bravely risk their lives under the banner of Romans 13 to promote good and protect against evil. And we pray for your protection of them. We also pray that you will call to account and bring to an end any and every abuse of their authority for evil that you have given to them for good. 

O God, we pray in light of Genesis 9 and Deuteronomy 4 for just laws in our land … 2 Samuel 8 for equal, impartial execution of those laws … and Proverbs 13:23 for fair process and opportunity for all people under those laws. 

We pray for just leaders like we see in Psalm 72. We pray for government leaders who fear you with humility, who love righteousness, and hate evil, Proverbs 1:8. We pray in light of your command in 1 Timothy 2, with honor that you command in 1 Peter 2 for our President, for our governors, for our state and local and city and county leaders, that under their governance we might lead peaceful, quiet, godly, dignified lives.  

We pray, O God, Jeremiah 29, we pray for the welfare of our city. We pray for the welfare of metro Washington, D.C. … for the welfare of Minneapolis and Los Angeles and Chicago and New York City and Atlanta. We pray for the welfare of our country. 

And, God, we pray for your church in our country as we bow before you now and we think about Jeremiah 7, Amos 5. Keep us from religion that masks, ignores, or promotes injustice. We pray that you will make us, of all people, zealous to defend any and every person made in your image—Genesis 1—who is wrongly or unfairly treated.

We pray—Philippians 1—you would help us walk in a manner worthy of the gospel. Help us in every word we say and every post we publish and every conversation we have to let our speech—Colossians 4—be gracious, seasoned with salt … and in every thought we possess or emotion we feel help us put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Philippians 2, help us to grow in affection and sympathy and love and comfort as we put others before ourselves. We pray Ephesians 4 for humility and gentleness, for patience, for bearing with one another in love. God, give us eagerness to maintain the unity of your Spirit in the bond of peace. 

God, give us grace to see the true enemy is not one another, but the evil one—John 10—who seeks to kill and destroy. So, God, give us unity together in the pursuit of you in the knowledge of your Word and the reflection of your character, Ephesians 5.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name alone. We pray your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

I pray all these things according to your Word … your Spirit … in the name of your Son, Jesus, our Savior. Amen. 

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.
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