Christ followers know the mercy we’ve been shown, and the freedom Jesus died to accomplish. His love compels us to live our faith, and heartily pursue justice.
“The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.” (Psalm 33:5 NIV)
Prejudice, discrimination, human trafficking, corruption, and more run rampant in the world. Media and modern-day conversations overflow with just causes, but heartfelt justice requires a deep look into our sin-soaked souls. To fight with courage and boldness, without judgement, and in love. Christ followers know the mercy we’ve been shown, and the freedom Jesus died to accomplish. His love compels us to live our faith, and heartily pursue justice.
What is Justice (According to God's Word?)
“Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding?” (Isaiah 40:14)
Both characteristics of God, righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne (Psalm 97:2). He is always fair, always good. Christians are purposed for the pursuit of righteousness. Injustice may seem explainable and fair by worldly standards. But Christ followers are not to sit idly by. God is in charge of all judgement and punishment for sin on this earth (1 Thessalonians 4:6), but we can love others in the name of the gospel by defending godly principles.
The apostle John wrote, “if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” (1 John 2:1-3). Through Christ’s death, we receive forgiveness for our sins. Rayshawn Graves wrote, “justice was an important part of the early ministry of Jesus. From the Golden Rule to the parable of the good Samaritan, Jesus was not afraid for his teaching to have clear implications for social justice.” ("Nothing Less than Justice")
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/manopjk
Why Should Christians Pray for Justice?
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NIV)
Paul reminds us, “the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24). Jesus chose to give His life as an atoning sacrifice. When we confess our sin, turn and repent, we are encased by God’s faithfulness and compassion. It’s important to pray for our hearts to align with God’s justice and righteousness, and in turn reach out with the same compassion, mercy and forgiveness we have been shown.
There is evil in the world too big for us to fight on our own. Justice is ultimately in God’s hands. He remains in control of punishment and judgement for sin on this earth, which will culminate when Jesus returns again. The more we seek Jesus, the better we see and understand injustice. “We understand justice completely because we’re tethered by faith to the one who is justice,” Bryce Young wrote for desiring God, “because we seek the one who defines and loves justice, the one who calls us to justice.”
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/manopjk
4 Ways Christians Need to Pray for Justice Today
“Now let the fear of the LORD be on you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.” (2 Chronicles 19:7 NIV)
Christians today are surround by a plethora of injustices that need our voices to battle for. How, in peace, do we accomplish the will of God where justice is concerned?
- Pray for Awareness
- Pray for Perspective
- Pray for the Strength and Courage to Lead
- Pray for Mercy
Pray for awareness, perspective, strength, and courage to speak up and lead with a peace-keeping, compassionate, and forgiving attitude towards others. It takes a constant pursuit of Christ to fight ignorance of injustice. Christ followers do not have the luxury of turning a blind eye. It’s important we pray for courage, bravery, and fortitude to leave our comfort zones in order to take up worthy causes concerning people who need the love of Christ in this world. God allows us to be a part of His will, standing up for those who are treated unfairly and putting our arms around those whom society may shun. “Some people lean so hard on justice they have no place for mercy,” explains John Piper. “One key to the Christian life is the spiritual wisdom to know when and how to apply both.”
Prayers for Justice
A Prayer to Be Aware of Injustice
You made all things and all people. You know how we are wired and You’re no stranger to our sinful nature. By the power of Your Holy Spirit, God, make us aware of injustice. Let us reflect wholly Your goodness, and fairness. We confess the times we were ignorant to the issues of injustice. We pray the words of the apostle Paul over our lives, our minds and our hearts: “Finally, brothers and sister, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8 NIV) Father help us to advocate in a godly way for those who are marginalized, discriminated against, and suffering at the hands of injustice. Make us acutely aware, Father. May we, in love, confront and expose inequalities, and offer support, comfort and voice to victims of injustice.
In Jesus’ Name,
A Prayer for Godly Perspective
Solomon wrote, “Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it completely” ( Proverbs 28:5). We pray today for Your perspective, God. We desire to see people the way You do, and uphold justice to bring glory and honor to Your name. Help us to set our personal agendas and selfish motives aside, and align the intentions of our hearts with Your will. Help us to see the world as You do, and through Your Holy Spirit be sensitive to Your leading in our lives, especially where justice is concerned. Guard our hearts, and alert us to opportunities we can share Your Truth. In our daily lives, give us Your perspective to see all things and all people through Your filter of grace, so we can make a positive impact on our families, our children, our friends and our communities, in Your honor.
In Jesus’ Name,
A Prayer for the Strength and Courage to Lead
You did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). When we are tempted to shrink back in fear, embolden us to seek and speak Your truth, LORD. Christ, be our strength. Father, let Your wisdom flow through our veins and override any cowardly selfishness that threatens to cloud sound judgement. Forgive us for the times we failed to grasp opportunities to put our arms around those who were suffering from injustice. Bless our lives to leave a trail of love and compassion for our neighbors, near and far, and let us be known for the honor and glory we give to You. It’s difficult to speak up when we know our words may be met with harsh arguments. May the power of the Holy Spirit, in us, propel us forward into those hard conversations. Keep Your Truth, Father, at the top of our minds and tip of our tongues.
In Jesus’ Name,
A Prayer for Mercy and Justice
Though we are to seek justice and speak up for truth, we are also to be peacekeepers. Let us be wise with our words, and passionate in our love for Your Truth. Paul wrote to Titus, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone” (Titus 3:1-2 NIV). By the power of Your Holy Spirit, God, help us to accomplish both justice and mercy in our daily lives. Father, we pray to be forward forgiving, especially towards those with opposing views. It is extremely hard to forgive those who wrong us and oppress others, but we do not want our hearts to be hardened by un-forgiveness. Give us strength, wisdom, and humility, Lord. You do not need our help to right the wrongs on this earth. Keep our egos in check. It is our privilege to participate in Your plan. To stand up, go, move, speak up, and love in Your Name. Thank You for including us. And praise Jesus, our Savior, who will return once again, to right every wrong.
In Jesus’ Name
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Made Suta/EyeEm
Unity in Love and Joy
Paul wrote to the Philippians it would make his joy complete if they were like-minded with Christ, having the same love. We can to set our agendas and selfish pursuits aside, and choose to be led by the Spirit. God is just and fair, exacting consequences where they are due in the grander scheme of the world, but also in our individual lives. When we pray for perspective, peace, courage, mercy and awareness, we are praying for the powerful wave of justice to wash over our own lives, too. Hopefully, the ripple effects from our pursuit of Christ will splash onto the people He’s placed in our lives. This is our heartfelt prayer for justice: change our hearts, that we may bring glory to God.
Meg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ as a freelance writer, blogger at Sunny&80, and author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” and “Glory Up, The Everyday Pursuit of Praise,” and “Home, Finding Our Identity in Christ.” She earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University but stepped out of the business world to stay at home and raise her two daughters …which led her to pursue her passion to write. A member of Faith Church in Sandusky, OH, she serves as Communications Director and leads Bible studies for women and teen girls. Meg is a Cleveland native and lifelong Browns fan, living by the shore of Lake Erie in Northern Ohio with her husband, two daughters, and golden doodle.
This article is part of our prayer resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.