Confession of My White Privilege | Prayer

As a white woman of privilege, I benefit from the systems in our country that favor me over people of color — especially Black Americans. To be honest, there are times I throw my hands up because this cancer seems too deeply embedded in our society. This is also my privilege.

The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis this week is a personal and national tragedy. I cannot comprehend the depth of the agony of his family and community. I cannot comprehend knowing this could happen to someone I love. I cannot comprehend protesting in such damaging ways. I cannot comprehend because I have the privilege not to need to.

However, I can seek to understand such hopeless despair. I can see to understand the injustice.  I can seek to understand what perpetuates it.

I can choose to do something.

Prayer is not going to change the structures of white supremacy in this country. But change can start if I recognize my own participation in it.

God in your mercy: Lord hear our prayer.


Holy God, Lord of heaven and earth, just as Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, so too, we rejoice that you have revealed yourself to us through your gracious will.

Blessed are the eyes that see what God has revealed.

But sometimes what we see with our eyes, we do not perceive with our hearts.

Jesus, we desire to not just see, but understand; to not just to hear, but listen.

Lord, you hear the cry of the oppressed and the needy. We are thankful when these cries are our own. But though our own sufferings are real – and we need your help – the truth is that we are a privileged people. We confess that we often choose not see what is before us and our role in it.

In our own life, we have probably not done anything to oppress others. In fact, we have given to the needy and fed the hungry. And it is true that we have worked hard for what we have and where we are.

But it is also true that we have received benefits from our privilege that are not merited. And that others bear the cost of our privilege, too often with their own lives. And for this, we confess.

While we may not contribute to racial differences in sentencing, we confess we choose not to be concerned about it.

While we may not contribute to inequality in lending, we confess that we choose not to be aware of it.

While we may not contribute to violence in the central city that arises from a lack of hope and opportunity, we confess that we choose to believe there is a difference between us and them.

While we may not contribute to racism and prejudice with our words, we confess that we often choose to be silent in the face of it. We can choose to turn off news alerts and take a break from caring.

While it was not our knee that killed George Floyd, we confess that we always believe the police more than we do men of color.

While it was not our hand that threw the stones through store windows or lit the fires of destruction, we confess that we judge these actions when we have no way of understanding what it is like to not be heard – to die – without voice or justice.

Blessed are the eyes that see what God has revealed.

Reveal to us that which we do not want to see. Reveal to us the systems of oppression. Reveal to us how we unwittingly perpetuate them.

We come before you with these heavy and difficult things because we know that they are the things that break your heart. As we pray together using the words we learned from Jesus, let us also learn the mercy, justice, and humility that Jesus taught us. We pray together saying: Our Father…




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6 Thoughts to “Confession of My White Privilege | Prayer”

  1. Merlin

    Open your home to a black family. Let your white privilege finally pay back for the gains you have received on the backs of blacks. Share your income with a black family. You can do more. Your privilege has lead you to gain from a system that has stolen from us.

    1. You’re right, I must definitely continue to do more.

  2. Jeanne Marie Musolf

    So difficult to read your wise words. But they help me to continue to recognize my privilege that I do not deserve. Lord, help us to know how to act to make real changes in our world.

    1. They are hard words, but the only way change happens is if those in power make it happen. If white people don’t recognize our privilege and use our voices and votes to make change, it will never happen.

      1. Bob

        Pure nonsense! No person should ever apologize for the color of their skin. After all, God made you (and all of mankind) in His image. It’s simply about being a good person in our daily life, with kindness and compassion in our hearts.Yes, it is a spiritual journey for each person on the planet, some more aware than others. People need to celebrate their very being, no matter the color of their skin, and practice kindness. People should focus on apologizing for their own behaviors and pray/walk the labyrinth of life to become a better person each day. Sheesh!

      2. I agree with you, except maybe for the last line. I don’t apologize for my white skin, but I do apologize (confess) for the benefits I’ve received because of it. My privilege is paid for by others. I agree we should examine and confess our own behavior, but part of being the Church is our corporate confession. I have not condoned slavery but Christian leaders have and used a holy and sacred text to justify it. Joined in the waters of baptism, we are also joined with those who committed these sins. Therefore, we need to continue to confess because the consequences of our collective sin are still being perpetuated. The multi-colors of our skin reflect just one way we are created in God’s image. No one should apologize for the color of their sin. But they also shouldn’t be penalized because of it. Peace to you as we continue to walk the labyrinth of faith.

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