taking the words of Jesus seriously

EDITOR’S NOTE: This prayer was issued by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President and Sr. Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, during the National Day of Prayer on May 4, 2017—the same day that House Republicans passed the American Health Care Act to overhaul the nation’s health-care system. The bill will move to the Senate in June for debate.

O God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, Thou who hast brought us thus far on our way, we pray today that you would listen to your children praying.

Parents whose babies have pre-exisiting conditions are praying God, “Save us from the unmerciful and un-American Health Care Act!”

Pregnant women who know that they already can’t afford to give birth are crying, “Save us from the unmerciful and un-American Health Care Act!”

24 million Americas who have insurance today but know they could lose it next year are praying, “Save us from the unmerciful and un-American Health Care Act!”

Thousands who will die next year, not because you’re calling them home but because they lose coverage are praying, “Save us from the unmerciful and un-American Health Care Act!”

On this National Day of Prayer, when those who thanked You for the election of Donald Trump were invited to pray in the Rose Garden, we pray in America’s hospitals and hospices, in our sanctuaries and on our streets. We ask, O God, that your would listen to the cries of your children and act quickly to bring down the mighty from their thrones.

Do not destroy them, Lord. In your mercy, bring them down to where we are so that we might imagine together a society where Your creation and its fruit are gifts to be shared in community.

Give us eyes to see how the black and brown child matter as much as the white child, the poor child as much as the rich, the gay child as much as the straight.

Teach us true religious liberty, which does not seek a license to discriminate but trusts human freedom as much as You do, Precious Lord.

Save us, God, from those who say so much about what You’ve said so little, and so little about what You’ve said so much. And give us strength to stand firm against all injustice, especially that which is committed in Your Name.

Save us from the unmerciful and un-American Health Care Act!


About The Author


The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is Pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church and President of Repairers of the Breach. He has served as president of the North Carolina NAACP, the largest state conference in the South, since 2006 and sits on the National NAACP Board of Directors. A former Mel King Fellow at MIT, he is currently Visiting Professor of Public Theology and Activism at Union Theological Seminary and is a Senior Fellow at Auburn Seminary. Rev. Barber is author of the best-selling The Third Reconstruction: How A Moral Movement Is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear.

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