I just read chapter 5, “The Uncivil War,” of Clarksdale & Coahoma County A History by Linton Weeks. I don’t even know where to start to pray. The context of war unleashed such a spirit of barbarism throughout our nation.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Our Father in heaven,
What fallen creatures we are! How we have defiled Your good creation. Forgive us, we pray. We lift up to You our ancestors involved in the Civil War and trust in Your perfect justice and mercy.
Without You, there is no hope for us or for our ancestors.
We bind to the Christians of the Mississippi Delta this day the power of God to guide them, the might of God to uphold them, the wisdom of God to teach them, the eye of God to watch over them, the ear of God to hear them, the word of God to give them speech, the hand of God to protect them, the shield of God to shelter them, the host of God to defend them against evil, against the lust of nature, against every person who meditates injury to them, whether far or near, whether alone or with many.
We invoke all these virtues against every hostile, savage power warring upon their bodies and souls, against the evil laws of paganism, against the false laws of heresy, against the false promises of idolatry and against all knowledge which blinds the soul of humanity.
We humbly acknowledge that we and our ancestors have indeed been blinded. Forgive us, we pray. Help us to see with the eyes of Christ.
O God, we pray Your continued protection and guidance for the Christians throughout this land. Help the Delta to be faithful in the small things that a great, beautiful, meaningful, and effective work may be wrought here. Amen.
Portions of this prayer are derived from St. Patrick’s breastplate.