You’re probably sick of hearing about Troy Davis. I am.
If you are sick of hearing about it, then there is something wrong with your heart. I know there is something wrong with mine. Somehow I have contracted “justice fatigue.” I’m tired of hearing about injustice.
Nevertheless, it is imperative that we continue to fight for justice. Injustice will not disappear if we ignore it.
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Troy Davis was legally murdered last night by orders of the government of the State of Georgia. He was slotted to be executed as recompense for a murder he was convicted of committing. Since his conviction and sentencing, the majority of the witnesses have come forward and recanted their testimony. There is serious doubt about his guilt. More than a reasonable doubt which is the standard, supposedly, that the American justice system is held to.
His murder sparked an international media firestorm. Americans generally, and Georgians specifically, have been the target of attack by groups all over the world decrying this barbaric behavior. They say, you see, that it is unconscionable for a civilized nation to kill anyone, least of all an innocent man. I think it just proves that there are no civilized nations.
You see, injustice reigns on the earth.
Lack of health care.
Conscripted military service.
American economic and military imperialism around the world.
Laws that aid the rich and harm the poor.
Unsustainable farming practices.
Environmentally unsustainable business practices.
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This morning, like every morning, my Jesus community gathered at six to pray. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I ended up leading prayer this morning even though I usually lead on Sundays.
After last night. After going to bed more furious than I have felt in a long long time. After writing off America as an empire and her way as a sword. After all that, I awoke.
I awoke to God’s love. His furious burning love.
I awoke to God’s holiness. His consuming holiness.
I awoke to God’s justice. His enraged justice.
I began to pray. I began to pray like I have not prayed in a long time.
I demanded justice.
I demanded that he return and FIX THIS.
I demanded that Heaven crash into earth.
I demanded that all things be made new.
I cried. I wept.
and I was stilled.
You see, injustice starts in my heart. We will never successfully fight injustice in this world if the blood of Christ does not cover us. If we are not reconciled in our hearts to God, then we cannot do Kingdom work effectively.
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I then began to plan how I would lead us in prayer this morning. We ended up doing three movements.
The first movement focused on the cries of the prophets to destroy evil. We read the following passages of scripture:
We then prayed that God would destroy the systems of oppression in the world. We prayed that he would move in the hearts of those in power to give justice to the afflicted. We prayed that the Georgia pardon board would be made a mockery and that the Georgia State Attorney General would feel the wrath of God burning against him. We prayed the same for countries which make sex trafficking easy as well as for those in power who pass laws which harm the poor.
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The second movement focused on the Gospel—God’s answer to our cries for justice. We read the following scriptures:
Of course, Jesus is quoting Isaiah 61 here. We prayed that we would be empowered by the Gospel to live justly. We prayed that the Spirit of the Lord would be upon us to proclaim the good news to the poor, the oppressed, the captive, and to declare the year of the Lord’s favor. We want to be agents of redemption. We also prayed that the Church would unite around proclaiming a full Gospel—not the truncated one of fire insurance after death—but a Gospel of life abundant in Christ. We prayed that the Church would use all the resources at her disposal to fight injustice.
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The third movement was a prayer of hope for Christ’s return and a declaration of what the fully arrived Kingdom of God looks like. We read the following scriptures:
Our hope is that one day Jesus will return to make all things new. We can’t fix all of the world’s problems by ourselves. While we strive for mercy, peace, and justice while here on this earth, we know that it will always be inadequate until Christ returns. This gives us hope because we know it is Christ who actually shoulders the world’s burdens, and not us. We prayed fervently: Marantha! Come, Lord Jesus!
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Name injustice; resist injustice; pray against injustice.