Prayer for Ferguson, Thanksgiving, Loss at a Time of Gratitude

Spirit of Life, God of Many Names, Source of Hope,

We pause this hour, in witness to the many feelings we hold in light of the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Some are grateful for family and friends close at hand,

for the warmth of home, and a table set full with food.

May we remember these joys in the hard times that come to all of us.

Some are struggling with illness, in body or in spirit,

tired from the weary journey,

season after season;

may we find strength from those around us,

and not lose hope,

so that our hours may still be filled with the preciousness of life.

Some are mourning the loss of a beloved family member, or a friend.

Help us to grieve, for grieve we must.

Help us to honor their life, and to carry on their memory,

so that their presence may live on through our actions and our love,

ever stirring the world for their touch upon it.

We also recognize the pain that has struck our nation this year,

whose Spirit has moved over our land once more,

a sense of injustice for black male youth,

before the power of institutions, and courts,

and the rage of privilege against those with little power.

We pray for the people of Ferguson,

who have lost another child on their streets,

whose police force will need to discern a way forward in a now impossible crisis,

for the national guard who must face rioters,

and for the protestors who must manage their pain and sorrow and civic duty,

while being falsely blamed for the rioting of others,

others who are full of rage in the face of a long history of violence against our black neighbors.

Teach us not to, ever and always, blame the victim first.

Help us to find ways not to repeat this story over and over,

as we have throughout the decades.

May we stay uncomfortable, stay heartbroken, stay in a place of loss,

long enough to commit to helping to affect change and healing.

May we not allow the story of Ferguson to be forgotten by the next sound byte.

May we remember long enough to allow love, and wisdom,

to find a home in our courts and on our streets.

We know that real solutions are not easy;

they require effort,

they require reflection,

and they require change over complacency and disinterest.

Just because the path may be difficult,

is no reason to continue to do nothing.

Black lives matter.

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