Saturday, June 6, 2020

A Call to Prayer + A Cry of Hymns & Songs for Justice & Healing


From "How Much Longer?" by Common Hymnal w/ Ike Ndolo

To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world. + Karl Barth


For those still seeking to understand why grotesque racial injustice continues to happen in the U.S. time and time again, there is much to grieve, more people of color to listen to, and many to come alongside in the sorrow, righteous anger, and lament.  

Years ago, Pastor Rich Villodas provided a powerful prayer and cry for us to help us process what happened in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017 (ex. you can also check out Emmaus City's denomination's Statement on Charlottesville, Virginia at the time). I have included the prayer again below for such a time as this. I also include a list of hymns and songs, some of which you may find worth singing in response to our country's deep rooted sins and confusion in relation to systemic racism and how we still need to deeply learn how to embody the justice and mercy of the Gospel and the ministry of reconciliation that Jesus has given us.

LORD, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. We need sustained justice and healing.

| 1 | A Congregational Prayer for Justice & Healing by Rich Villodas


One: Lord Jesus, Your Kingdom is Good News for a world caught in racial hostility. We ask that You would give us grace for the deep challenges facing our country.
All: Oh Lord, only You can make all things new.
One: Lord Jesus, we confess our anger, our deep sadness, and our collective sense of weakness to see this world healed through our own strength.
All: Oh Lord, only You can make all things new.
One: Lord Jesus, we honestly confess that our country has a long history of racial oppression, that racism has been a strategy of evil powers and principalities.
All: Oh Lord, only You can make all things new.
One: Lord Jesus, we confess that the Gospel is Good News for the oppressed and the oppressor. Both are raised up. Both are liberated, but in different ways. The oppressed are raised up from the harsh burden of inferiority. The oppressor from the destructive illusion of superiority.
All: Oh Lord, only You can make all things new.
One: Lord Jesus, we confess that the Gospel is Your power to form a new people not identified by dominance and superiority, but by unity in the Spirit.
All: Oh Lord, only You can make all things new.
One: Lord Jesus, we ask that You would help us name our part in this country’s story of racial oppression and hostility. Whether we have sinned against others by seeing them as inferior, or whether we have been silent in the face of evil. Forgive us of our sin.
All: Oh Lord, only You can make all things new.
One: Lord Jesus, we pray for our enemies. For those who have allowed Satanic powers to work through them. Grant them deliverance through Your mighty power.
All: Oh Lord, only You can make all things new.
One: Lord, we ask that you would form us to be us peacemakers. May we be people who speak the truth in love as we work for a reconciled world.
All: Oh Lord, only You can make all things new.
One: Lord we commit our lives to You, believing that You are working in the world in spite of destructive powers and principalities. Bring healing to those who are hurt, peace to those who are anxious, and love to those who are fearful. We wait for You, O Lord. Make haste to help us.
All: Oh Lord, only You can make all things new.

| 2 | Hymns and Songs for Justice & Healing

Lord Have Mercy (For What We Have Done)
Matt Boswell + Matt Papa, 2019 A.D.

For what we have done and left undone,
We fall on Your countless mercies.
For sins that are known and those unknown,
We call on Your name so holy.
For envy and pride, for closing our eyes,
For scorning our very neighbor
In thought, word, and deed, we’ve failed You, our King.
How deeply we need a Savior.

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy,
Lord have mercy on us! (Repeat)


For what You have done, Your life of love
You perfectly lived, we praise You.
Though tempted and tried, You fixed Your eyes,
You finished the work God gave You.
And there on the tree, a King among thieves,
You bled for a world’s betrayal.
You loved to the end, our merciful Friend,
How pure and forever faithful. (Chorus)

For hearts that are cold, for seizing control,
For scorning our very Maker,
In thought, word, and deed, we’ve failed You, our King.
How deeply we need a Savior. (Chorus)

How Much Longer?
Common Hymnal w/ Ike Ndolo, 2017 A.D.

In the silence, tell me, can you hear
The voices calling out, of the disappeared?
Broken spirits, dormant dreams
How much longer will justice sleep?
When a lawless heart is the voice we’re hearing
We need freedom, freedom, freedom! ...

How much longer 'til we sing a new song?
How much longer 'til we sing a new song?


Hearts of saints and sinners, too,
Both have walked away from the destitute.
Call them back to sing as one,
A song of freedom now, a song to overcome
(Chorus)

Come on brother, lay your weapons down
Where the river of justice rolls and all oppression drowns.
It flows with life, love and truth,
May the old be washed away and hearts be made anew.


Let Justice Roll
Sojourn Worship, 2015 A.D.
Forgive us Lord, for passing by
When children cry for bread.
Forbid it Lord, that justice lies
In tatters, cold and dead.
Outside these walls run desperate streets 
Where greed is law and life is cheap.
We bar the doors, refuse to see, 
Or hear the words You said:

Let justice roll like a river, 
Like a river, let it roll!
Let justice roll like a river,
Like a river, 
let it roll!

Convict us Lord, we dance and laugh
Ignoring those who weep.
Correct us Lord, our golden calf
Has lulled our hearts to sleep.
The gap between the rich and poor
Grows ever wider, shore to shore.
There’s racial hate, religious war
And wolves among the sheep.
(Chorus)

Indwell us Lord, and purify
Our hands to work for You.
Enlist us Lord, to serve nearby
And ʻcross the waters, too.
Your image-bearers on the earth
Will never know how much theyʼre worth
Unless we love and help them first
And show the way to You!
(Chorus)


Heal Us
William Cowper, 1779 A.D.

Heal us, Emmanuel, here we are.
We long to feel Thy touch.
Deep wounded souls to Thee we fly.
O Savior hear our cry!

Our faith is feeble, we confess.
We faintly trust Thy word.
But will You pity us the less?
Be that far from You, LORD!

(Chorus)

Remember him who once applied
With trembling for relief.
“Lord, I believe,” with tears he cried
“O help my unbelief!" 
(Chorus)

She, too, who touched You in the press
And healing virtue stole
Was answered, “Daughter, go in peace
Thy faith has made thee whole.”
(Chorus)

Like her, with hopes and fears we come
To touch You if we may.
O send us not despairing home,
Send none unhealed away.
(Chorus)

Break Every Chain / Fill Me Up Medley
Tasha Cobbs & Will Reagan, 2013 & 2015 A.D.

There is power in the name of Jesus;
There is power in the name of Jesus;
There is power in the name of Jesus
To break every chain, break every chain,
Break every chain!

All sufficient sacrifice so freely given,
Such a price bought our redemption,
Heaven's gates swing wide.

There's an army rising up, there's an army rising up!
There's an army rising up to break every chain,
Break every chain, break every chain!

You provide the fire, I'll provide the sacrifice.
You provide the Spirit, I will open inside.

Fill me up, God, fill me up, God,
Fill me up, God, fill me up.

Love of God, overflow.
Would You permeate all my soul?

Fill me up until I overflow!
I want to run over, I want to run over!

Promises
Maverick City Music, 2019 A.D.

God of Abraham, God of covenant and of faithful promises, 
Time and time again You have proven
You’ll do just what You said. 

Though the storms may come and the winds may blow, 
I’ll remain steadfast.
And let my heart learn when You speak a word 
It will come to pass! 
Great is Your faithfulness to me! 
Great is Your faithfulness to me! 
From the rising sun, to the setting same, 
I will praise Your name! 
Great is Your faithfulness to me! 

God from age to age, though the earth may pass away, 
Your Word remains the same. 
You’re history can prove there’s nothing You can’t do, 
You’re faithful and true! (Chorus

From the rising sun, to the setting same, 
I will praise Your name. 
Great is Your faithfulness to me. 

I put my faith in Jesus, my anchor to the ground, 
My hope and firm foundation, He’ll never let me down!
All Sons and Daughters, 2011 A.D.

We have seen the pain that shaped our hearts,
And in our shame we're still breathing.
'Cause we have seen the hope of Your healing,
Rising from our souls is the feeling.
We are drawing close, Your light is shining through.

Wake up, wake up, wake up all you sleepers.
Stand up, stand up, stand up, all you dreamers.
Hands up, hands up, hands up, all believers.
Take up your cross, carry it on.

All that You reveal with light in us will come to life 
And start breathing. (Chorus)

Here we stand, our hearts are Yours.
Not our will, but Yours be done.

Give Us Your Heart
People & Songs, 2017 A.D.

Your eyes are on the lowly though others look away.
Your feet run to the broken, Your hands are quick to save.
Make us like You, Lord.

You walk with the forgotten and offer them a home,
Adopting the unwanted and calling them Your own.
Make us like You, Lord!

O give us Your heart, O give us Your heart!
Let the light of heaven shine as we step into the dark!
O give us Your heart, O give us Your heart!
All to see the Kingdom come and death depart,
O give us Your heart! O give us Your heart!

(Repeat 2nd Verse + Chorus)

Let justice flow like a river in the desert,
Let the nations know that You will reign forever
As the Earth beholds the glory of the Savior,
Let justice flow! (Repeat + Chorus)

O give us Your heart, O give us Your heart!
Let the light of heaven shine as we step into the dark!
O give us Your heart, O give us Your heart!
Let the light of heaven shine as we step into the dark!
O give us Your heart, O give us Your heart!
All to see Your Kingdom come and death depart,
O give us Your heart! O give us Your heart! 

The Kingdom Is Yours
Common Hymnal, 2017 A.D.

Blessed are the ones who do not bury 
All the broken pieces of their heart.
Blessed are the tears of all the weary 
Pouring like a sky of falling stars.
Blessed are the wounded ones in mourning, 
Brave enough to show the Lord their scars.
Blessed are the hurts that are not hidden, 
Open to the healing touch of God.

The Kingdom is Yours, the Kingdom is yours,
Hold on a little more, this is not the end.
Hope is in the Lord, keep your eyes on Him.


Blessed are the ones who walk in kindness 
Even in the face of great abuse.
Blessed are the deeds that go unnoticed, 
Serving with unguarded gratitude.
Blessed are the ones who fight for justice, 
Longing for the coming day of peace.
Blessed is the soul that thirsts for righteousness, 
Welcoming the last, the lost, the least. (Chorus)

Blessed are the ones who suffer violence 
And still have strength to love their enemies.
Blessed is the faith of those who persevere. 
Though they fall, they'll never know defeat. (Chorus)

Christ is all,

Rev. Mike "Sully" Sullivan

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