A Virtual Prayer Vigil for Justice, Reconciliation, and Peace

Saturday, June 6, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Dear Friends in Christ,
When people of faith are thrown into the wilderness of hurt, fear, anger and pain, one of our first impulses is to pray. Our biblical witness is full of the cries of God’s people, some of them quite eloquent, some little more than inarticulate screams from the heart.

God, help us!
How long, O Lord?
Answer me when I call, O God!
Give ear to my cry, O Lord!

We pray because God puts it into our hearts to do so. God desires to be in deep communion with us, and prayer builds that communion. Prayer draws us close to the beating heart of God.

We pray because we have seen and experienced that prayer is concrete action for the sake of the world. God hears our prayers, and God answers. Our words do not return to us empty, but prepare a way for God to do in the world all that God intends.

We pray because at times we can do no other.

We pray knowing that it is risky to pray. God may well answer our prayer by sending us out to be what we want to see in the world. God may well choose to change us and use us according to the prayers we have uttered.

We take the marvelous risk of praying for justice in our world now, opening ourselves to God for the sake of a world so in need of God’s presence, God’s love, God’s transforming power.

I am grateful to the community of Deacons in the Diocese of Virginia for calling us to this 12 Hour Virtual Prayer Vigil for Justice, Reconciliation and Peace. It is part of the role of a Deacon in worship to call God’s people to prayer, and our Deacons are faithful in calling us from our individual congregations to a wider community of prayer together.

There are a variety of ways to participate in the vigil:

    • You may sign up for 30-minute prayer slots. There is no limit to how many people can sign up for a single time slot. The more people praying together, the better!
    • You can set a time to pray alone or with members of your household.
    • You can host an online prayer vigil for your small group, congregation or faith community.
    • You can tune in to the prayer time live on the Diocese of Virginia’s Facebook page Saturday at 8:00 p.m.

The diocesan Deacons have composed this prayer booklet for use as a resource during the vigil. Use whatever is helpful to you. Add a song as you are called. Read some of the Psalms, which are quintessential cries of the heart. Follow the ways that God is leading you.

May God’s blessing fall richly upon you as you share in this time of vigil. May God bless us all as God works in and through us in the power of prayer.

Your sister in Christ,


The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff
Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority

Father Jeff

Father Jeff

The Rev. Jeff Shankles came to St. Alban’s in 2005 as assistant rector, and eventually became rector in 2013. He and his wife, Kate, have two adult children, Audrey and William.

View all posts by Father Jeff

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