From the nation's Capitol to riot-filled streets across the land, the power of prayer and faith in God is taking center stage in the Christian response to the ongoing pain and protests over the death of George Floyd.
While opening the US Senate's session with a prayer on Monday, Senate Chaplain Barry Black prayed to God to "use our lawmakers for your glory. May they strike to find a vaccine to inoculate our nation against hate, sin, and despair."
Senate @Chaplain_Black: "Today we weep. We weep because every death diminishes us. We weep because of the grief of George Floyd's family. We weep because of the explosive impact of deferred dreams...We weep because we know you are weeping." pic.twitter.com/emHcYdNNIk
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 1, 2020
"Eternal God, who has placed our tears in a bottle, today, we weep," Black prayed. "We weep because every death diminishes us. We weep because of the grief of George Floyd's family. We weep because of the explosive impact of deferred dreams. We weep because of the potentially catastrophic consequences of peaceful protesting during a pandemic."
"We weep because justice delayed is justice denied. We weep because of the paralysis of analysis that often impedes Your prevailing providence. We weep because of our personal culpability during these tragic times. We weep because of our sins of commission and omission. We weep because we know You are weeping."
"Today," he prayed, "use our lawmakers for Your glory. May they strive to find a vaccine to inoculate our nation against hate, sin, and despair. We pray in Your merciful Name. Amen."
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Respected by both sides of the aisle, Black has served as Senate chaplain since 2003. He served in the Navy for 27 years before coming to Capitol Hill where he was the Chief of Navy chaplains and retired with the rank of rear admiral.
Megachurch Pastor Calls for Pastors Across the Country to Preach in Areas Hit by Riots
Meanwhile, black, white, and Latino pastors held a "Peaceably Gather Rally" in downtown Louisville, KY, on Tuesday. The rally was also attended by Mayor Greg Fischer, police officers, and many of the city's citizens.
During the event, Megachurch Pastor Brian Gibson called on pastors across the nation to join a national movement for peace and to preach this Sunday in the areas most affected by the riots. He also announced a new Prayer, Preaching, and Partnership plan to end the riots and heal racial division.
A scene from the Peaceably Gather rally held in Louisville, KY on Tuesday. (Screenshot credit: Peaceably Gather/YouTube)
According to Gibson, his plan includes:
- Prayer: people of all backgrounds must come together in humility and repentance, confess the communal sins of pride, arrogance, and apathy. Then seek God's direction for bringing healing to their communities and neighborhoods.
- Preaching: pastors and clergy must leave the safety of their pulpits and go to the areas that have seen the violence and riots, preaching the power of God's word and His truth over those neighborhoods.
- Partnership: suburban churches need to establish "sister church" relationships, partnering with urban churches. They must come together, share their needs, their experiences, support each other's work, and preach from each other's pulpits.
Gibson, the pastor of HIS Church with locations in Owensboro, KY, Henderson, KY, Amarillo, TX, and Dumas, TX, said he will travel to Washington, DC this weekend to preach.
See highlights of the Peaceably Gather Rally in Louisville below: