The following is a prayer written by the Rev. David J. Powers of Idlewild Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee. Whether you know Rev. Powers or his church, their denomination or their city, we all know a connection to our neighbors, to our hopes and dreams for our communities. And, now we know the possibility of the absolutely horrific happening to us. We know because as Jesus Followers, our sisters and brothers live in that community. WE lost our brother, Tyre, in a violent attack. WE are devastatingly surprised at the actions – or lack thereof – of first responders entrusted with our safety and care. As you read this prayer, pray this prayer – and I hope you pray it often – please join me in praying in solidarity with Memphis.
A Prayer for Memphis (and all of us):
Incarnate One, you are the God of this city.
named for a place which knew an oppressive system, seemingly too deeply rooted to change.
named for a place which endured plague after plague, because its leader wouldn’t listen.
named for a place in which you broke the bonds of oppression and loosed the chains of injustice.
named for a place from which you authored freedom for your people.
named for a place to which Mary fled for sanctuary and to shelter her son.
You are the God of this city. Our city.
in need of your balm for our grief and your comfort for our dis-ease.
in need of your power to dismantle and your promise to establish anew.
in need of your bond breaking and your justice authoring.
in need of your love’s shelter and your Spirit’s peace.
Come once again to your city. Our city.
Come and open our eyes to see the systems which must be changed.
Come and guide our hands to comfort those who grieve.
Come and enliven our voices to speak truth to power.
Come and shape our spirits to conspire in your freedom purposes.
Come and open our hearts to be the shelter needed in this hour.
Easter your city. Our city.
Easter Memphis with your presence.
Easter Memphis with your power.
Easter Memphis with your peace.
-The Rev. David J. Powers
Idlewild Presbyterian Church, Memphis, Tennessee