is the Chaplain of the Church Center of the United Nations. She is a Global Advocate for Gender Justice, Womanist Activist, Pastoral Counselor, Lover of Peace and Liberation for all God’s People.
Six Years Too Long
Click the photo above to listen to the prayer.
(Prayer transcript below)
In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, God of every human soul, hasten to our prayers this day. Holy One we come to you knowing that we are in the midst of a global pandemic. Knowing that Coronavirus is ravaging throughout our world and taking the lives of young and old, and yet we still come. Six years later O God, still weeping. Still we come. 72 months. 313 weeks. 2,193 days. And over 52,000+ hours still weeping. Since 112 of our #ChibokGirls, out of the 276 abducted six years ago, are still missing. We are still weeping O God, because our dear one called Leah Sharibu, one of the six abducted #DapchiGirls is STILL in captivity. We are weeping because hundreds of others are STILL enslaved. Six years O God, still enduring horrific cruelty and still enslaved by inhumane tormentors and the evil of Boko Haram.
Holy One, these precious souls were created in your image with hopes and dreams of becoming more than a hashtag. So we pray that you stretch your hand from the Sambisa forest in the northeast of Nigeria, to the streets of the Bronx, New York; from the public square in Abuja, to the ports of countries along the coast; to the cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Miami and every human trafficking hub, every sex trafficking ring that lead our girls, young boys and the vulnerable to be sold into sex slavery.
Dear God, we continue to pray and believe that one day our girls will no longer be stolen, no longer sacrificed, no longer slaughtered, used as human bombs, weapons or tools of war; one day they will no longer be negotiated, commodified and bargained for like damaged goods in a free marketplace. We pray that one day our girls will no longer be raped into motherhood, no longer be made to convert or compromise their bodies, their faith, their will or their very lives.
O God, today we are horrified. We are angry. We are physically exhausted and emotionally drained. And we have journeyed with grief and despair for far too long. Six years too long! So Merciful God, we beg you to listen to our plea; hear the cries of weeping mothers, hear our hearts that weep for our stolen daughters, our sisters who are left in agony as they await their return.
God, you who redeems, restores and returns home those who are lost and brings chained captives out of confinement. Make your presence known O God. Stay the hand of death that lingers over them daily by their militant enslavers. God of hope and healing, send them courage… bring healing to the soul, to the mind and to the body. We pray their swift and safe return to the families and communities who love and long for them. Six years have been too long O God.
You who lift and restore; we beg of you to continue to watch over the girls who have escaped and those who have been rescued and are trying to re-enter community and to attend school. Send resources, O God, medical, physical, psychological, financial and humanitarian aid. Send your loving care in abundance as they heal from the deep-rooted trauma that they have survived. Bless the hands of those who have formed bonds and friendship and solidarity, and people of good will around the world as they have been working together in partnership with the heart of Nigeria that seeks justice for our girls and on behalf of their safe return!
God of justice, we pray and we cry aloud because of these vicious attacks that claim lives and claim human dignity. We ask that you would ignite the will and the work of the righteous, that we might demand justice, that we might continue to work on behalf of those who have been kidnapped and harmed, their bodies and spirits ravaged. We pray O God that you would continue to move on us to pray with our feet and demand of governments to bring back our girls now!
We pray O God, creator of the world, put an end to terror, put an end to slavery, human trafficking and sex exploitation and the exploitation of the weak. Give understanding, give compassion and wisdom to all in need; protect every young girl, every child, every woman, every man, all humanity and grant us your peace. Hear us O God. We pray, in your mercy. Hear us…for six years have been far too long.