The Trial over George Floyd’s Death: Pray with American Bible Society

As the Verdict in the Trial over George Floyd’s Death is Announced, Join American Bible Society in Reflection and Prayer for Our Nation

For the past weeks, our nation has watched the trial of former officer Derek Chauvin over the death of George Floyd in 2020—a death that sparked nationwide protests. We continue to pray for a just verdict, for a peaceful response, and for true healing and reconciliation in our communities.

The trial is about the circumstances surrounding George Floyd’s death, but it touches on much broader debates happening in America about hearing and caring for hurting people—especially those affected by racism—as well as advocating for just law enforcement and respect for our laws and police officers. Too often these conversations are more confrontational than compassionate.

We speak in this cultural moment, calling the church to acknowledge the grief felt by so many, to lament what is broken in our nation, and to seek God’s help in showing a Christ-like response to all those around us. The Bible calls us to hurt with those who hurt (Romans 12:15) and to uphold the cause of the afflicted (Psalm 82:3). It also calls individuals and societies to judge justly (Leviticus 19:15–17). Now is the time for all Americans to dig deep into Scripture to find comfort, conviction, and wisdom for the path ahead.

We collectively grieve the loss of George’s life, the sorrow of his family and community, and the fear that continues to plague so many of our brothers and sisters in the wake of his passing. We grieve with every parent who has lost a child, every child who has lost a parent, and every person coping with the trauma of loss. As our nation grapples with the present-day realities of racial injustice, we urge believers to lead the way in caring for others of all races and in asking God to show us our own prejudice, to lead us into all truth, and to remove anything that might keep us from brotherly love.

Last June when protests turned to riots in many of our nation’s cities, including Philadelphia, our President & CEO Robert L. Briggs pointed to the example of the psalmist to lament the fear, sorrow, frustration, malice, and destruction plaguing our land. He reminded us that Psalm 68 begins with the words “Rise up, O God”; it’s a cry to ask God to enter the painful and dark times of our lives with us—to carry our burdens and to come to our rescue.

We continue to pray this prayer—“Rise up, O God!” We long to see God’s design for unity, for peace, for truth, and for justice reigning in America and across the globe. Until that day, we invite you to join us in reflection and prayer.

Join Us in Reflection and Prayer

We Lament the Fear and Anger that Plagues our Communities

“Listen to my prayer, O Lord, and hear my cry for help! When I am in trouble, don’t turn away from me! Listen to me, and answer me quickly when I call!” (Psalm 102:1–2, GNT).

God, our hearts break for every parent who lies awake in worry for their children’s safety at night, for every spouse of a police officer who prays for their wisdom and protection, for every community leader who feels targeted and broken, for people who feel so hopeless that they turn to division and destruction, and for everyone who believes no one sees their value or cares about their pain. We lament our sin and rebellion. God, be near to us in our grief.

We Repent Over the Sin of Divisiveness

“If [my people] pray to me and repent and turn away from the evil they have been doing, then I will hear them in heaven, forgive their sins, and make their land prosperous again” (2 Chronicles 7:14, GNT).

God, forgive us when we knowingly or subconsciously deny or defile your image in others. We ask you to renew our minds, to help us see our biases and resentments, and to produce in us a godly sorrow that leads to true repentance. We pray for wounds of trauma—personal and generational—to be healed in Jesus’s name. We pray for forgiveness and reconciliation with those who have been hurt.

We Seek Justice and Protection

“Be honest and just when you make decisions in legal cases; do not show favoritism to the poor or fear the rich. Do not spread lies about anyone, and when someone is on trial for his life, speak out if your testimony can help him. I am the Lord. Do not bear a grudge against others, but settle your differences with them, so that you will not commit a sin because of them. Do not take revenge on others or continue to hate them but love your neighbors as you love yourself” (Leviticus 19:15–17).

God, we know you are the ultimate judge. We ask for a fair trial and for justice to be enacted. Be near to the family and friends of George Floyd in their grief. Please protect the jurors and the broader community in Minneapolis from riots and violence. And teach us how to love all people as our neighbors, as Christ taught us.

We Pray as a Nation for True Peace

“The Lord has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is
just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God” (Micah 6:8, GNT).

God, we know you are just and good. Show us how to live justly, show love, and live in humble fellowship with you. We acknowledge and embrace Your heart for unity, and we ask You to guide us and our nation toward active, intentional peace.

Do You Need Prayer?

We want to pray for you as you navigate the sadness or frustration or uncertainty of these days. Please submit your prayer request here.

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