Invitation to Prayer  

Come, power of love and ocean of mercy, touch us, forgive us and release your transforming fragrance in our lives, in our communities and in our world.

Come, Jesus son of Mary, cleanse us - body, mind and soul - and lead us from the unreal to the real; from shadows to light; from the temporary to the eternal.

Come, Spirit of love help us to perceive so that we may understand. Help us to believe so that we may perceive; help us to attend to your way so that we may believe; help us to breathe together so that the world may believe. Amen

(United Reformed Church Prayer Handbook, 2009)

         Lift Every Voice and Sing

(words: James Weldon Johnson; music: J. Rosamund Johnson)

Responsive Psalm 63: 1 – 8

O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you;

my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.

Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.

So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name.

My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips

when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;

for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.

My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

Glory be to God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

A reading from the Gospel according to St. Luke13: 1 – 9

At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”

Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

♪          Senzenina (What have we done)

Prayers of Intercession

Merciful God, we pray for a world in which the lowly are lifted up, as we remember the children of minority ethnic communities living with stigma and racism navigating institutions who judge them. God of justice and peace…

Hear our prayer.

Deliver us from the fear and suspicion that separate us from each other and place limits on hope and healing. God of justice and peace…

Hear our prayer.

Grant us your forgiveness from the sin of racism for we have been taught in your word that ‘there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus’. (Galatians 3:28). But because of racism, one part of the body, claims not to feel the pain of the other part of the same body. God of justice and peace…

Hear our prayer.

We pray on this day for Christians and for people of goodwill that we will stand for the rights of all human beings regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, national origin, colour and gender. God of justice and peace…

Hear our prayer.

Empower all who serve as Church leaders that they would minister your Word with boldness, leading your faithful to the richness of your Love. May the Church turn to your Word and let it speak to the issues of justice, anti-racism, anti-discrimination and common humanity for which we all cry out. God of justice and peace…

Hear our prayer.

We pray for your courage and wisdom in the fight against the policing of conversations about systemic racism that limit the depth of dialogue, understanding and attempts to diminish and dismiss truthful conversations. God of justice and peace…

Hear our prayer.

May each of us may acknowledge our part in mistakes and sins of the past pertaining to discrimination and racism, and may a spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation exist among peoples who share a history of mutual mistrust, hatred or aggression. God of justice and peace…

Hear our prayer.

May all victims of racial prejudice be recipients of your abundant grace and love so that they may forgive those who persecute them, and may their persecutors have a change of heart, even as all people seek to work for justice, peace and reconciliation. God of justice and peace…

Hear our prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer (each in our own language)


May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who came to set us free from all sins of dividedness and domination,

And the love of God

            Who created us to be with God and one another

And the communion of the Holy Spirit,

            Who joins us together in truth, peace, and justice,

Be with us all, now, and forever. Amen

WCC will share regional prayers in lead-up to UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination