In the face of persecution and racism, we need the Lord to keep us strong and healthy. Prayer does that. Here’s a template on how to pray.
When people offend us, it’s important that we pray to God for repair. We need the Lord to prevent bitterness, resentment or unforgiveness from settling in. Some things we can handle while others must be taken to our father in heaven.
This is truly necessary for us of Hebrew descent who can experience racism on a frequent basis; and for us who are experiencing heavy persecution due to the Faith. We need prayer to stay strong, prevent sin from reigning in our bodies (Romans 6:12), and maintain a good connection with God. Here’s how to pray:
Pray for spiritual healing
The sting of injustice, betrayal, and mistreatment can bring spiritual wounds we can’t repair on our own. Our bodies can heal from physical wounds, but the Spirit of God must deal with the breaches in our souls. Intense anger could be an indication of a breach. Always ask the Holy Spirit to heal and seal up the wound. If you don’t, it may not be healed which could lead to spiritual infection (demonic strongholds) and then habitual sin.
More and more people today are becoming too proud to even acknowledge a wound from an offense and they never go to God for healing which leads to a worse condition. But the saints know that “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). And so we pray:
Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise (Jeremiah 17:14)
Pray for justice
Anger may be present especially when there’s an injustice and this can be used as fuel for prayer. But the devil would like us to believe that anger is sinful in relation to injustice and evil. Persecuted saints are told this, and black people victimized by racism hear the same.
“The Angry Black Man/Woman” is a label appended to anyone who would express anger for a wrong committed against them under racism. It claims that said black person has an internal issue unrelated to the system of racism/white supremacy.
This “labeling” is salt in the wound of the victim and a message to the rest of the oppressed that warns:
If you express angry or protest about our behavior, you’ll also be labeled and lose favor with us. Those who want to please the dominant society will try their best to suppress their natural emotions, act as if they don’t see them happen to others, and even blame the victims. All those who seek to please man over God are in sin (Galatians 1:10).
The same is done to the saints of God, specifically uneducated newborns. When false brethren (Galatians 2:4) persecute the true children of God, they brazenly go a step further and rebuke them for expressing any kind of anger labeling it bitterness or resentment, or “a lack of love.” This is designed to make the child feel as if they’re not right with God in addition to the pain of persecution.
If the devil can smother the child’s anger, it will eventually minimize their petitions to God for justice. Eventually they’ll become desensitized to their own pain and the pain of others. Then they eventually won’t see sin the way the Lord sees it and become useless for the kingdom.
We are not to be ignorant of the devil’s devices (2 Cor 2:11). No, we can “be angry, and sin not,” as the scripture says. Even our God is angry with the wicked everyday (Psalm 7:10-12). So if we’re told to love the things God loves, and hate the things God hates (Psalms 97:9-12), then hatred, and anger being a natural response to injustice, is warranted.
For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. (Psalm 37:28)
As mentioned before, God told us to “be angry, but sin not” (Ephesians 4:26). It’s only wrong when we allow anger to lead us to sin. Sin could be rage fits, destroying property, fighting, destroying others with words, boiling in resentment and/or bitterness, and living in unforgiveness. But we won’t let that happen to us. The remedy is simple: We give whatever anger we can’t handle to God as we pray for his justice.
God is a lot better at anger management than anyone else. The majority of his creation deeply offends him all day, everyday. He would be perfectly justified in destroying all of them in his wrath, but it’s his great mercy and patience that keeps him from exploding before due time.
We have access to this same restraint in the Holy Spirit. When we walk in the Spirit, we can be angry and not sin. Therefore pray for the righteous justice of God knowing that vengeance is not ours, but the Lord’s (Romans 12:19).
Even the saints continue to pray for justice even after they’re dead, crying: “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” (Revelation 6:9-11). Pray for God’s justice and watch him work in due time.
Understand that you’re blessed
In regards to being cut by sinners, often times we don’t realize it, but we are being persecuted for Christ’s sake. Righteous living irritates the wicked because it contrasts their lifestyle. Jesus said:
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12)
Add these people to your prayer list
Jesus also said this later in that the same chapter:
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:43-45)
In regards to racism, I’ve often found myself praying that the veil of deception be removed from these people’s minds. Most racism is caused by media. White people are constantly fed negative things about blacks and then whites treat them as such without ever criticizing what they’ve been told. This is equivalent to just believing rumors about a stranger you don’t know.
For everyone in general, I pray that God opens their eyes to their sins. I pray that these offenders examine themselves, repent to God and ask for forgiveness.
At the end of the day, we have to always remember that when they sin against us, they’re sinning against God. This means we don’t repay evil for evil; and we extend the mercy and patience God extends to the wicked on a daily basis. Perhaps our bizarre treatment of them might bring them to Christ.
As always, pray in the Holy Spirit (Jude 1:20). This means you allow God’s Spirit to lead you in prayer to the Father. Prayer books are really unnecessary and get in the way of a Spirit-led prayer.