As outrage and protests continue to shake Kenosha, Wisconsin after the police shooting of another young Black man, the mother and the pastor of Jacob Blake are calling America to prayer.
Before the Blake family began their press conference Tuesday afternoon, attorney Ben Crump introduced Pastor James E. Ward, Jr., the pastor of Blake's family for more than 30 years, to lead the group of assembled family members, attorneys and media representatives in prayer.
Ward explained that at Blake's mother's request and at Attorney Crump's request, he wanted to set the tone of the press conference by briefly representing their faith in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and offer a brief word of prayer.
"There are three types of law that govern a nation," Ward said before praying. "Spiritual law, moral law, and civil law. But we are only familiar with civil law, and we are often ignorant of the ramifications of violating spiritual and moral law, which civil law alone cannot remedy."
"When these spiritual and moral foundations are destroyed, societies implode. People hurt each other. And what can the righteous do? So we're calling our nation back to faith in God."
"Despite our differences, every citizen of America can agree that we indeed have a monumental problem in our nation. A problem that people created, but people are incapable of solving. And often as we tell our church, we have a sin problem and not just a skin problem."
"So I invite you to join me in a brief moment of prayer as we ask our gracious God for his help during these very perilous times," Ward said.
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And he began to pray.
"Our Father in Heaven, we humbly come to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And we ask you to forgive us all for straying from our ways, from your ways and from your Word, which invites the curse and results in repeated harming and the destruction of each other."
"I declare the mercy of God. The grace of God. The peace of God. The goodness of God. And most importantly, the love of God over Kenosha. Over black people and white people. Over citizens and police and over these United States of America."
"Father, unify us by your Holy Spirit. We pray for Jacob Blake even now and ask you to heal his spirit, soul, mind and body as well as the entire family. We ask you to give us wisdom on how to navigate our way forward as we deliberate to seek justice and to seek to bring healing to a hurting nation. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen."
WATCH Jacob Blake's Mother Asks Everyone to 'Examine Their Hearts' in Tuesday's Press Conference
Julia Jackson, Blake's mother, also briefly addressed the press conference.
"We really just need prayers. As I was driving through the city, I noticed a lot of damage. It doesn't reflect my son or our family. If Jacob knew about the violence and destruction, he would be very unpleased. So, I really ask and encourage everyone in Wisconsin and abroad to take a moment and examine your heart. Citizens, police officers, firemen, clergy, politicians - do Jacob justice on this level and examine your hearts. We need healing," she said.
"As I pray for my son... healing physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I have also been praying for the healing of our country. God has placed each and every one of us in this country because he wanted us to be here. Clearly you can see right now, I have beautiful brown skin. But take a look at your hand and whatever shade it is, it is beautiful as well," Jackson added.
What is prayer? Does God hear me if I pray? Your important questions about prayer are addressed here.