Love, Justice, and Reconciliation

Including justice in worship shouldn’t be reserved for special occasions. It should be part of our everyday worship routine. It’s the “secret sauce” that amplifies the impact. When every prayer is infused with the essence of justice and righteousness, justice becomes the foundation, the steady rhythm that keeps our spirits in tune with the Holy Spirit, and our prayers are transformed from mere words into a powerful force for positive change.

The following prayers with introductions from Scripture are provided to help us pray around the themes of love, justice, and reconciliation. As with all resources in Reformed Worship, they are free to use in worship services and can be adapted to fit your context. If you print or project them, please acknowledge the author and source.

 

Love

Scripture
God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
—1 John 4:9–10 (NRSV)

Prayer
Lord, I thank you for loving us unconditionally even when we don’t show love toward each other. Help us find in our hearts to be in relationship with each other as you demanded and to love our neighbors as we love you. May we be courageous enough to look beyond skin color and see your image in everyone we meet. Help us not just to talk about love, but to embody it. Amen. 
 

Justice

Scripture
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!
—Amos 5:24

Storied Prayer of Injustice 
Offering our stories as an act of prayer. 

Father, hear my prayer. 

A friend shared this story with me:

One summer day my friend’s son wanted to play basketball at the local gym, so she called the gym and reserved a court. But when she arrived with her son, the receptionist told her there was no open court and that her son would not be able to play basketball that day. The look on his face devastated my friend, and she had to figure out how to explain this sin called racism to a ten-year-old in a way that wouldn’t harden his heart toward God. 

Holy Spirit, help us to remember that justice is mission work. We thank you that you are the Prince of Peace who was able to tear down the dividing wall between the Jews and Gentiles. Lord, we ask that you replace any hostility in the world with the peace of Christ and any hate with the unconditional love of Jesus. Amen. 
 

Reconciliation 

Scripture
And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.
—1 Peter 5:10 (NRSV) 

Prayer
Lord, thank you for reconciling us to you through the cross. 
Love and truth demand reconciliation.
Father, help us to remember who we are in you. 
Be our strength and our guide as we strengthen each other. 
May we be reconciled with each other. 
Holy Spirit, make us one.
May we be courageous enough to walk together in unity. 
Lord, help us, and thank you!
Amen.

Idella Winfield is a regional connector and race relations consultant for Thrive, the ministry arm of the Christian Reformed Church, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

 

Reformed Worship 151 © March 2024 Worship Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church. Used by permission.