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A Lament for Black Lives

O God of praise, keep not silent. For the mouths of the wicked and deceitful are opened against Your creation. They have spoken lies about those You created in Your image and come against them with vengeful tongues. They have surrounded them with words of hatred and brought violence against them without cause. In return for cries for equality, they choked out their breath. They have repaid justice for evil and replaced Your love with hatred.

But we are in prayer.

Lord, appoint a righteous judge against them. Let an accuser stand at their right hand. When they are tried, let them be found guilty! Let their prayers for help be counted as sin. May the days of the unjust be few. Let others take their offices.

May the children of this next generation not follow in their father’s sinful footsteps. May mothers find justice. May the community who has endured so much no longer be driven from their homes by greed and power. May creditors be judged for letting strangers plunder the fruits of their labor. Let all this sin be abolished from the following generations.

Lord, let no one justify their sin with excuses, false kindness, or turning a blind eye. Let no one take pity on those who murder Your beloved ones. Let the wickedness of those in power be remembered by You, Lord; do not let the sin of silence and passivity be blotted out.

Your creations come before You Lord for justice, that You may not forget the wicked and what they did to the works of Your hands.

Those sworn to do justice do not show kindness, but persecute the hurting and the needy. They scorn the brokenhearted and do not consider their unjustified deaths. They love to curse those who call for accountability. O Lord, let curses come on them. They do not delight in justice, so let it be far from them.

They soothe themselves by vilifying others. They wear their lies like a garment. Their lies have seeped into their inner selves like blind truth, a manifest anointing into their bones. It has become a shield which they cover themselves, a system to which they bind themselves. May the unjust be clothed with dishonor. Let them cover themselves with their shame and be exposed in light of Your truth.

May Your righteousness be the recompense for those whom they vilify, silence, and ignore, for all those who dare to deny justice to Your creation.  

Because Your love is steadfast and good, deliver those who cry out to You. O God, deal with these injustices on their behalf. Their hearts are stricken as they cry out for those in power to acknowledge that their beings have meaning. Their broken bodies are like a shadow that lengthens and fades, always another name upon their lips. Their knees are unsteady from crying out. Their bodies are tired, their shoulders heavy, their burden unjust.

They are objects of scorn and taunting to those without compassion, who, when they see their rallies for justice, shake their heads in disdain. Let the hateful hurl curses, but You shower blessings.

Help them, O Lord our God! Save them according to Your lovingkindness. Let those who turn a deaf ear know this is Your promise: that You, O Lord, have heard their cries for justice and mercy.

When unjust power arises, let it be put to shame. O Father God, let freedom ring. 

Together we will give great praise and thanks to the Lord! For God stands beside those who suffer injustice to save them. He calls forth those who have been condemned to obscurity. 

Lament inspired by Psalm 109 in the ESV, AMP and AMPC versions.

Cover Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

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