Interfaith Day of Prayer – Prayer from William Barber


Most holy, gracious, great, all loving and ever present God, hear our prayers:


William Barber 

Interfaith Day of Prayer

May 7, 2020




Most holy, gracious, great, all loving and ever present God, hear our prayers:


For those who have known too much unexpected death.

For the children who in a matter of days experienced more than any one should in years.


Hear our prayers for those whose world has been graphically and in some ways grotesquely changed by the death and infection of a germ and the failure of government that caters to those addicted to greed.


May we who know justice and compassion. May we repent for those who have let the viruses racism, lust for power and lies make a difficult situation worse.

May those who have gone along with the lies just to please narcissism break free and tell the truth.


May we who can simply change our schedules to meet the challenge of COVID-19 remember those whose entire lives are totally turned upside down and disrupted.


May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable because of the wounds and fissures of racism and entrenched poverty.


May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who own no home of their own and must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.


May we who can stay in and care for our children when their schools closed remember those who have no options at all.


May we who are not essential workers remember those doctors, nurses, janitors, deliverers and others whose names have changed from service workers to essential workers.


May we repent for and challenge the powers that refuse to give essential workers the essential things they need to be protected from this lethal virus.


May we beg forgiveness for being a nation that does not provide health care as a human right. Help us own our social sickness of greed, call sin what it is, and turn from its wicked ways to become the healers you call us to be.


May we who are losing our margin in the tumult of this economic market remember those who have no margin at all.


As business owner, governors and a president force low wage workers to make a decision between staying home to live or going to work and risking death, loose the power of the Holy Ghost to bring to remembrance that which you said:


If you get rid of unfair practices,

   quit blaming victims,

   quit gossiping about other people’s sins,

If you are generous with the hungry

   and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,

Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,

   your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.(Isaiah 58)


Remind us in this moment you are calling on us to choose the society you desire, which cares for the least of these.


As fear grips our country,

Let us choose love, justice, grace and truth.


In the midst of misery, by your Spirit inspire us to yet believe in miracles.

During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of Our God to our neighbors.


Strengthen us, O God. Use us, O God. Save us, O God. For we know that you are a very present help in the time of trouble. Amen.


Bishop William J. Barber II

Pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, public theologian, political activist, author, educator, founder of Moral Mondays and co-architect of The Poor Peoples Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival.