I have recently been kind of fascinated with the power of prayer as it is read aloud together in a group. This is technically the age old practice of liturgy. As a I have been relatively unchurched in my adult life, I am slow to label as such, but I’m giving it a go. This is a piece that I wrote in a workshop with Brian McLaren who subsequently helped me shore the final version as it appears here.
Liturgy to Acknowledge Privilege Toward the End of all Isms
Inspired by the leadership of Brian McLaren and the courage of Enuma Okoro
Dear Lord, for the many blessings you desire for all your children – rain and sun, life and breath, food and drink, clothing and shelter, WE GIVE THANKS.
But some of our privileges are not gifts from your hand. They were stolen unjustly from others or came at the expense of others.
LORD, open our eyes to every unfair privilege that has come to us, to acknowledge the systems that lift some up while pushing others down. Lord, EXTEND OUR VISION to those living outside the bounds of privilege – whether that privilege comes based on race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, majority status, or wealth.
HUMBLE US LORD. Help us to take up the perspective of the other, to learn from what we find there in their sight.
Hold our aching hearts in your care as we face the inequities in your world and our role in their perpetuation. Suspend our nature to be contrary so that we might trust outside our own experience.
Help us to be allies to our family members who have felt diminished by the behaviors of others, no matter how slight or subtle.
We affirm that all people are equally dear to you and that no human life is worth more than another.
For acts and expressions of equality among all people, WE WILL STAND.
In challenging ourselves and each other in our behaviors, WE WILL BE COURAGEOUS AND RECEPTIVE.
In becoming a community of inclusivity and welcome, WE WILL BE INTENTIONAL.
For we know that our individual liberation is only possible through you and through each other.
As we leave these legacies of oppression behind and work toward a future of collective liberation, we give thanks that through you, ALL PEOPLE ARE LOVED, VALUED AND FREE.