“He has told you, human one, what is good and what the Lord requires of you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
This week we will be focusing on repentance. Repentance is more than confession. Repentance is a change in heart and mind that alters the way we act going forward. We are called specifically this week to seek repentance for any prejudices that we have shown to our brothers and sisters of color or any hurts that we have intentionally or unintentionally caused.
Below are some prayer tips as we pray for repentance this week:
Reports state that an officer held his knee on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds before he died. Set a timer for 8 minutes and 46 seconds and pray for repentance for ways you have fallen short in God’s call for us to act justly and walk in faithful love with all of God’s children.
Read Micah 6:8 once to yourself. Take a moment to meditate on the verse. Read it again and look for any words or phrases that stick out to you. Read it again and think about what those words mean to you. Read it again and ask yourself, “How is God calling me to act?”
Think about a time you treated someone unfairly, or laughed at an offensive joke. Focus on the reason you acted that way or found that kind of comment amusing. Consider how you would have felt if a person being mocked heard it. Envision yourself acting differently, treating the other person with loving kindness or expressing that you do not find that type of joke funny, that it could be hurtful to others. Then pray, confessing your sins. Commit to making changes so you will not repeat the hurtful behavior.
The wonderful news is that God promises to forgive our sins and assures us that nothing can separate us from his love. Refusing to confess and repent when we are wrong damages our relationship with God just as it damages human relationships. God knows our hearts intimately, so we are not hiding anything. Not confessing to the darkness in us does not mean it does not exist. It just shows that we know it is there but are choosing not to address it. God can help us heal and do better. He can help us to clean up our hearts if we will only admit they are dirty and open ourselves to God’s clean-up work.
This week has been hard for us to watch. It has broken our hearts and we know your heart is broken too. We commit to doing better. Help us, lead us, guide us. Give us eyes to see truth and injustice, ears to listen, and voices that speak kindness and demand just treatment for all your children.