Why Should I Pray for Racial Healing?
In Daniel 9, Daniel prays a prayer that modern intercessor call “identificational repentance.” What’s that? In his prayer, Daniel confesses the sins of Israel (generations of sin) that caused God to judge and punish Israel. That punishment had come about 70 years prior, and Daniel was likely only a young boy at the time. Those sins were not Daniel’s. He had nothing to do with them. They were the transgressions of his ancestors.
But Daniel chose to identify with those sins. He repented and asked forgiveness. God responded to Daniel’s prayer and soon poured out His blessing on Israel again.
Racism is a sin in America that keeps us divided as a nation and as a Church. Unfortunately, the narrative has been hijacked by two Marxist organizations (Black Lives Matter and Antifa). So many of my fellow white believers continue to downplay or ignore the issue. But our nonwhite brothers and sisters in Christ are hurting.
If we want to see the answer to Jesus’ unity prayer for His Church in John 17—for the Father to make us one—then it is time for a biblical response to racism, a Christian response. It’s time to identify with this sin and pray!
A Unified Crying Out
For this reason, God led two believers—Niko Peele, a young black prayer leader from Raleigh, NC, and me, an older white guy from the Midwest—to compile a book titled Make Us One: A 31-Day Prayer Journey Toward Racial Healing.
Why? you ask. Niko answers that in the introduction:
As new social justice and civil rights movements are pushing to dominate the narrative, the Church carries the kind of justice that meets both the temporal and eternal freedom that the world is searching for. It is a Jesus-justice fueled by biblical conviction, compassion, prayer, and action that will bring revival to the heart and transformation to society.
Niko and I—and many others—long to see believers from all ethnic streams deal with racism at the foot of the cross. We long to see believers opening their hearts to what the Holy Spirit wants to do in them and through the Church. We long for believers to model racial healing in this nation. We need it. Our nation needs it.
Maybe you don’t harbor racist attitudes. Maybe you’re not guilty of the sin of racism. Maybe no one in your church is a closet racist. But your brothers and sisters are hurting because they regularly feel the sting of racial discrimination. God calls each one of us to do our part to bring about racial healing. Imagine what the transforming power of the Holy Spirit will do in hurting communities across this nation as the Church prays!
Our challenge to you—and your church—is to courageously take a month and pray through the book Make Us One. I was astounded at what the Holy Spirit did in me as I worked on this prayer guide.
–Jonathan Graf is the publisher of Prayer Connect magazine and the co-compiler of Make Us One (PrayerShop Publishing 2020). For more information on Make Us One or to order click here