On the first Monday of each month, a group gathers to explore resources, thoughts, feelings, learnings and share insights on the topic of race. This past week our conversation closed with the following prayer, adapted from Meditations of the Heart – “Prayer for a Friendly World” by Howard Thurman.  “Our Father, fresh from the world, with the smell of life upon us, we make an act of prayer in the silence of this [time]. Our minds are troubled because of the anxieties of our hearts are deep and searching. We are stifled by the odor of death which envelops our earth, where in so many places brothers [and sisters] fight against one another. The panic of fear, the torture of insecurity, the ache of hunger, all have fed and rekindled ancient hatreds and long-forgotten memories of old struggles, when the world was young and Your children were but dimly aware of Your Presence in the midst. For all this we seek forgiveness. There is no one of us without guilt and, before Thee, we confess our sins: we are proud and arrogant; we are selfish and greedy; we have harbored in our hearts and minds much that makes for bitterness, hatred, and revenge. While we wait in Your Presence, search our spirits and grant to our minds the guidance and the wisdom that will teach us the way to take, without which there can be no peace and no confidence anywhere. Teach us how to put at the disposal of Your Purposes of Peace the fruits of our industry, the products of our minds, the vast wealth of our land and the resources of our spirit.  Grant unto us the courage to follow the illumination of this hour to the end that we shall not lead death to any one’s door; but rather may we strengthen the hands of all in high places, and in common tasks seek to build a friendly world, of friendly men [and women], beneath a friendly sky. This is the simple desire our hearts which we share with You in thanksgiving and confidence.  Amen

Scripture Reading: Romans 12:2
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Reflection Questions:
What does “your Purposes of Peace” mean to you?
Is there someone struggling in your life?
How can you build a friendlier world?