Statement of Unity
June 2, 2020
To the community of people at Horizon whom we deeply love,
Over the last week, we find ourselves wondering how to pray in these days we are in.
These times are unprecedented. We are already suffering so much from the pandemic. On top of that, now is added the tragic taking of life, the anger and grief of affected communities, the brokenness of our institutions, the growing racial tension, and the ensuing violence and mayhem released upon the country. We also see a political divide that seems to fan the flames. This results in the deepening divide of those both in the culture and in the church so that any statement you make can turn friend or neighbor against one another in a moment.
We find a deep and increasing sadness growing in us. This led us to the scriptures, especially to the corporate Psalms of Lament. We find in these Psalms, a way to begin to express the sadness, pain, confusion, and even the anger we have been feeling with both honesty and rawness.
Here are a few samples:
Psalm 44:24-26 – “Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever. Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression? We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love. “
Psalm 60:1-2 – “You have rejected us, God, and burst upon us; you have been angry—now restore us!
You have shaken the land and torn it open; mend its fractures, for it is quaking.”
Psalm 74:9-12 – “We are given no signs from God; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be. How long will the enemy mock you, God? Will the foe revile your name forever? Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand? Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them! But God is my King from long ago; he brings salvation on the earth.”
Psalm 79:8-10 – “Do not hold against us the sins of past generations; may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need. Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake. Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”
Because public statements seem to be so fraught with peril, our church board is calling our church to a day of prayer and fasting tomorrow. Join us in choosing to fast for the day or for a meal and set this time aside for prayer. In unity, we are asking you to use these scriptures to pray (Psalm 44, 60, 74, 79, 80, 85 90). You can also use the following prompts to guide your prayer.
Pray for God to act!
Pray for God to rescue us!
Pray for God to stop the violence!
Pray for God to reconcile us to one another!
Pray for God to address injustice!
Pray for God to forgive us!
Pray for God to heal our land!
We would also ask that each of us use confession as means of allowing the Spirit to soften our hearts even before we pray. Ask yourself the following questions:
When have I been angry and spoken harsh words of judgement?
Where do I find bitterness and hatred creeping in?
Have I stopped seeing the Imago Dei (the image of God) in certain groups of people?
Have I failed to see God’s love for them? Have I stopped listening? Caring? Praying?
We join you in asking for God to help us and to protect our country, state, city, church, and families.
Grace & Peace
The Board of Horizon