Pleasant evening, I am Jeff Hood, The Pastor of the Church at Mable Peabody’s. I am a pastor and in times of difficulty pastors pray. So I come to offer you a prayer.
God, I come to you at this difficult hour to beseech you for justice.
Tonight, my heart is heavy for Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton. I pray that they might know the restoration of their lives in this life. May they feel the love that all of us have for them at this very moment. May it comfort them to know that we remember and are fighting for justice for their son, Trayvon, and the millions of others just like him who have died and are dying under the weight of oppression.
Tonight, I pray for an end to racism. May it begin with all of us gathered here examining the racism and privilege contained in our own persons.
Tonight, I pray for an end to violence, knowing that those who are now calling for violence are no different than George Zimmerman, who allowed his fear and anger to allow him to take the life of another. I pray for an end to the killing. I pray for peace.
Tonight, I pray for those who persecute and oppress that they might be restored to right thinking and acting. May we believe that we can meet them as humans and leave as coworkers in the restoration of our planet.
Tonight, I pray that an end to racism, classism, privilege, homophobia, sexism, and all the other factors that contribute to oppression, marginalization, and injustice will begin with the examination of our selves and continue until we revolutionize our communities.
Tonight, I renounce violence anew with the knowledge that justice only arrives when we have the courage to love.
So on this night, may we seek love for Trayvon Benjamin Martin.
In the name of the God whose name is love.
*Not long after I prayed this prayer, an altercation broke out between people who were speaking at the rally and a gentleman and his friend on the courthouse lawn that were opposed to the language that was being used. The conflict got worse before everyone was separated. Trying to be a pastor, afterward I walked over and had conversations with the gentlemen who were involved in the conflict. After some conversation, one of the gentlemen later told me that he was sorry about what happened and that the only thing he remembered being said at the rally was my prayer. Perhaps there is something about prayers of love that make people stop their hate and listen.