Here are some ways we can prayerfully respond to the current civil unrest in our nation:

Pray for the Peace of the Nation. Pray for God’s peace to prevail. Pray that people would have soft hearts toward one another—the way God’s heart is toward us. Pray that people would not succumb to fear, but trust God, and assume the best about those with whom we disagree. (See 1 Timothy 2:1-2)

Pray for Families Affected by Recent Events. Pray for the family of George Floyd and those whose loved ones have been harmed, injured, or killed during the unrest. (See Psalm 46:1)

Pray for Affected Communities. Pray for those who are no longer (or maybe never have been) safe in their communities. Pray that the loss of lives, homes, and businesses as the result of violence, vandalism, and looting would end. Pray that affected communities would find healing. (See Romans 12:9-21)

Pray for Government Leaders. Christians are called to pray for those in positions of authority—even those with whom we disagree (1 Timothy 2:1-2). This is especially true during times of confusion, pain, and difficulty. Pray for the president, vice president, other leaders in the federal government, governors, mayors, local leaders, and all those in positions of authority as they respond to current events. Pray for a spirit of cooperation as lawmakers work to address current issues. (See Psalm 2:10-11; Proverbs 11:14)

Pray for Law Enforcement. Pray for the safety of the police, the National Guard, and other law enforcement officers. Pray they would always act justly and uprightly, with the understanding that they are accountable to God, as they carry out their responsibilities. (See Matthew 5:9; Psalm 82:3-4)

Pray for the Church. Pray for unity within the body of Christ (John 17:20-23; Ephesians 4:3; Romans 12:5). Pray that pastors and congregations around the country would have wisdom and courage to respond with truth and love as they serve their communities and address current events—and as they seek to generate healing, cross bridges, and bring reconciliation. Pray that the Gospel would be proclaimed during these trying times.

Pray for Honest and Truthful Public Discourse. Pray that reporters and journalists would convey the news honestly and accurately. Pray that the news media would not stoke fear, inflame anger, or encourage reckless behavior. Pray that those on social media would bring grace and seek to be constructive and not incendiary. (See Proverbs 12:22)

Pray for God’s Guidance. Human wisdom alone cannot solve our current problems. We need God’s wisdom and guidance. Pray that everyone, especially the church, would humble themselves before God and allow ourselves to be shaped by Him. Pray that the church would avail itself of the power and grace only God can supply, in order to take the lead in effectively confronting and dealing with the sins, pains, and hurts of our past—including those of slavery and racism—so that we may truly repent and heal as a nation. (See Psalm 25:4-5; Proverbs 3:5-6)