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As North America, and indeed, the entire globe continues to witness protests amidst stringent calls for racial equity and justice by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, there have been various responses from public and private institutions globally. As Christians what should be our sustained response? What would Jesus do?

We know from the Bible that Jesus would do at least two things: He would pray continually to the Father (Luke 18: 1-8, Matt 7:1-7) and he would publicly address the issue (Matt 19:1-11). His public response to an important social issue of the day, although brought up as a test by the Pharisees, is a great example. The issue was the use of legal loopholes by men to indiscriminately divorce their wives, leaving the unfortunate women in financial and social limbo in a male dominated society. Being unmarried himself, Jesus could easily have maintained a neutral position, feigned complete ignorance of the practice or hidden under political correctness. He did none of these. Jesus used the opportunity to teach the perfect will and purposes of God for marriage. He highlighted the cause of the loophole, effectively using his authority as the Son of Man to correct a longstanding abuse. His actions serve as a guide on how we should stand on all social issues, even ones as difficult as the current BLM situation. Our Pastor Alan Davey and Weston Park Baptist Church have taken such a stand.

So what should we pray to the Father for? In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus told a parable encouraging us always to pray and not be discouraged. In that light, here are a few helpful prayer contexts from the Bible:

  1. Pray that men and women will come to the saving knowledge and faith in Christ Jesus (John 3:16)
  2. Pray that the Church as the body of Christ will take the lead in breaking down racial walls both in its stance and proclamation (Isaiah 61:1-3)
  3. Pray, interceding for our cities before God and asking for forgiveness for existing inequities and injustices, just like Abraham interceded for the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 18:16-33)
  4. Pray for our political and institutional leaders to be guided by the Spirit of God as they make decisions and create new policies regarding racial issues (1 Tim 2:2)
  5. Pray for peace in our communities (Ps 122:6). We can replace Jerusalem in the verse with the name of our city or other cities
  6. Pray for marginalized communities in their interactions with institutions such as law enforcement agencies (Phil 4:6)

Our Father will hear and answer us. Amen.