About United? We Pray (UWP)
“IT IS A SERIOUS MATTER…WHEN ANY BODY OF PEOPLE, HOWEVER FEW, BETAKE THEMSELVES NOT TO REVOLT BUT TO PRAYER.”
— Rev. Francis Grimké, 1898 —
United? We Pray (UWP) is a ministry to help Christians pray and think about racial strife. We want to encourage Christians amid the strife to rely upon God in prayer. So our prayers can be informed, we strive to learn and write about race, racism and its effects, and theology. We aim to be biblical, beneficial, and clear in all our efforts. While we’re burdened for all racial strife, we focus on racial strife between Christians because of the unique privilege and stewardship God has given his people: to bear witness to Him and to love all people, especially one another (Gal. 6:10).
To hear the heart behind UWP, listen to this talk.
Jesus said that the world would know we are his followers by our love for one another (John 13:35). Jesus prayed for the church’s unity and said it testifies to his coming (John 17:21). Jesus died to make us one with one another and one with God (Eph. 2:11-22). Any mindset, action, or institution that denies that unity is not “in step with the truth of the gospel” (Gal. 2:14).
The trials and complexities of race and racism often exceed our own wisdom and strength. God has limitless wisdom and strength, but we do not. Yet in the Bible, when people realized their limitations, they often did something—they prayed. They prayed to the God who can do more than they can imagine (Eph. 3:20); the God who commands His children to cast their anxieties upon him because He cares for them (1 Pet. 5:7); the God who is more eager to give than we are to receive.
We praise God for giving the church brothers and sisters who have faithfully maintained the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3). To ignore the unity God has given churches so far is to rob him of glory. Yet events from the last few years, decades, and centuries show there’s much work to be done. We believe, as brothers and sisters in the past did, that prayer must under-gird that work. We must do more than pray if we’re going to go about this work, but we cannot do less. And so we give ourselves to the work of prayer—the starting line, not the finish line, of this work of love amid the strife.
The church has an adversary who hates this work (Eph. 6:12). We war against him and his kingdom on our knees. Yet we pray with hope because Christ is coming again in victory. When he does come, there will be a kingdom of people from every ethnicity, and we will be united around God’s throne (Rev. 7:9). That unity is in question now in the minds of many brothers and sisters, but a day is coming when we’ll never question it again.
Until that day, will you pray with us?
You may be seasoned in laboring for racial unity and justice, and you’re tired from that good work. You may be brand new to these issues and not sure where to begin. Whoever you are, you’re welcome to join us in taking racial struggles to the throne of grace.