Ravi Zacharias penned this prayer on July 8, 2016, after tragic events in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Dallas. His words of lament and hope were both timely and timeless, even as we mourn current examples of evil and injustice in our nation such as the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor.
Join us in praying for justice and peace at this time, and that God will once again bring beauty from the ashes:
God, our heavenly Father, our minds go back to the day when Jesus knelt beside his beloved city and wept, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:42).
We sense so deeply the same reality. We weep for our cities even as we bury our dead. The sound of gunfire is the grim sound of what has already shattered our relationships. We are witnesses of distrust, revenge, and anger. We see no one to lead us and guide us. To whom shall we go?
Our differences seem to lead us even farther apart. Oh, Lord of miracles, do what only you can do to save us from ourselves. Give us men and women who will lead us to reconciliation. Give us leaders who will bind us up to heal our wounds, not those who will only incite more hate.
Give us voices that will bring hope and not despair. Please comfort the bereaved and give humility to the ones who are resistant to your ways. Give us pause so that we might sit back for just a few moments to look to you before we look at our impulsive solutions.
We shed another’s blood when we are without answers. You shed your own blood as our only answer. We kill, buried in despair. You rise, giving us hope.
You told Peter to put back his sword and you restored the one wounded. That’s what we long for. A reprimand to the one who would injure and a healing within the one injured. God of miracles, please do it again. We need you. Our nation needs you. Our leaders need you. Many at home today will not have a loved one returning. Without you, we have no hope.
With you all things are possible—even for beauty to come out of ashes. We pray for the day of unarmed truth and unconditional love. Please answer our prayer.
In the name of Jesus your Son, our only Savior, we ask this.