How do we pray God’s word in a world of injustice? How should Christians respond to division in the world and in the body of Christ? In this video, Pastor David Platt draws from scripture, pleading to a just God for biblical justice and unity in our cities, country, and the world. Pastor Platt acknowledges that justice is not his initiative, but that it is a value that runs deep in the Bible. Not only does God require his people to do justice, but he also tells them to pray for the welfare of their country and to respect the authorities in control. When we pray God’s Word in a world of injustice, we allow God’s justice to begin to work in our lives.
- Lamenting Together
- Praying for the Leaders
- Praying for Welfare
- Growing in Affection
Watch Full Message of To Graduates: A Call to Risk It All
Pray God’s Word in a World of Injustice
I want to lead us together to pray as God’s people in light of tension we see around us in our country right now. So as I read along with you, news of protests and riots, not just in our country in general, but in our city, yesterday, today in my time with the Lord, I just wrote out a prayer for God’s grace and God’s help. So many of you know that a couple weeks ago we walked through Psalm 133 and saw in God’s word the beauty of brothers and sisters dwelling together in unity under his grace.
We talked about various challenges to that unity as a multiethnic church, particularly when it comes to issues of race and justice. You can find all that at mccleanbible.org/race. And we heard from different brothers and sisters that day in a way that left many in our church encouraged that we’re addressing these kinds of issues with God’s word, others discouraged by what they heard, some confused, some upset for different reasons.
And my love for this church has grown over the past couple of weeks because I trust that every single person who is filled with the spirit of God, and who loves the word of God not only wants to listen to others in the church and love others in the church and grow together in unity as the church, but we also want to do justice together in the world, like all of God’s people who love God’s word, want that. This is certainly not my personal agenda or anybody else’s. The last thing I want to ever do as a pastor is to lead the church according to my agenda. That thought frightens me. If I can’t show you something in God’s word, do not listen to what I’m saying. But God’s word makes crystal clear from cover to cover that he requires his people. That’s the word he uses to do justice for all people around us.
God’s Perfect Agenda
This is God’s agenda and we align with it. So in a country where names like Breonna Taylor and now George Floyd have become common to us, and in light of tension that’s clearly around us, and in some ways even among us, I just want to lead us together to pray straight from God’s word. So will you just bow your heads with me wherever you’re sitting right now in your home or wherever you might be, and let’s just humbly plead together before God.
Oh God, how long we lament together as your people in ways that we’ve read throughout the Psalms in recent days, in a Psalm 13, 82 kind of way. 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 on 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. Oh 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.
Praying for Our Community and World
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 and 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 oh God, Jeremiah 29, we pray for the welfare of our city. We pray for the welfare of metro Washington DC, 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, we pray that you would forgive and cleanse and keep us from any semblance of religion in your name 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, that you would help us to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel. Help us in every word we say, in every post we publish, in every conversation we have to let our speech, Colossians 4, be gracious, seasoned with salt. And in every thought, repossession of emotion we feel help us to put on Colossians 3, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
Praying in Love in a World of Injustice
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.