“God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, Thou who has brought us thus far on the way,”
We offer you our thanks and praise first because you are the Author of Life and you are Life Everlasting and you offer us Life Abundant. You are God the Healing One and God the Provider.
You are God who knit us intricately within our mothers’ wombs and you know the very hairs on our head. You are the Great Physician, and you are the one who is acquainted with our grief and knows our sorrows.
Holy and Compassionate Lord, we lay our hearts, minds, and bodies before you “once more and again” during this Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS, and we implore you…
Hear our cry for healing –
For our communities dealing with the crushing weight of not only HIV/AIDS, but the crushing weight of stigma and misunderstanding and exclusion –
Heal us God as the People called by your name – set us free from our own prejudice and fear.
Heal us until we are set free to love as you have unconditionally loved us.
Heal us until we wrap our arms around the infected and the affected and love ALL of your hurting children – without regard for color, age, class, orientation or gender identification – into Wholeness.
And heal us, Great Wonder, until we turn our prayers into action – feet walking, hands writing, voices lifting for compassionate systems and legislation that make prevention and intervention without prejudice a permanent reality for those most marginalized in our society.
Hear our cry, and …
Send your word for we trust in you, and we desire to be used of you for the praise of your name and the blessing of your people everywhere.
In the name of our Great Christ from whose side healing flows, we pray –
Rev. Ann Jefferson is the Associate Pastor of Worship & Liturgy at City of Refuge UCC (Oakland, CA)
Bishop Yvette A. Flunder, Senior Pastor