February 21, 2021
A prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr:
“Look with mercy upon this company of your people, the church. You have called us out of many lands and places to serve you in the ministry of your word. Teach us rightly to divide the word of truth. Grant that our love may grow in all knowledge and discernment. Help us each to walk worthily in the vocation wherewith we are called, forbearing one another in love and endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. Teach us to look not each at his own things, but at the things of the other, so that we may impart and receive from one another whatever gift of the spirit you have given to each. O Lord, bind us together in the body of Christ that we may grow unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
We pray, O Lord, for your church, that it may be healed of its divisions by your grace; that it may teach your word with courage to a sinful world, and may mediate with true charity your love and mercy to all men. Strengthen every ministry of reconciliation therein with your spirit. Grant that it may be a true community of grace in which the pride of race or nation is humbled, where the strong and mighty are brought to judgment, and the meek and lowly are lifted up. Make it more faithful to its Lord, and more instant to meet the needs of men.”
(From Justice and Mercy by Reinhold Niebuhr, edited by Ursula M. Niebuhr, Harper and Row, 1974.)