Condoleezza Rice, who served as secretary of state under President George W. Bush, said Americans "need to race again toward" God in the wake of the police-related shootings in Baton Rouge and Minnesota and the officer ambush in Dallas.
Rice offered the stirring prayer over the weekend during a service at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in California. The former secretary of state, born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, prayed for the "victims of violence of the last week, in Minnesota, in Baton Rouge, in Dallas" and prayed for the protection of law enforcement officers and the military, those "who protect us on the front lines of freedom."
Rice also addressed the U.S.'s "birth defect of slavery" and "our dark past ... of prejudice," the pain of which she said "still lingers today and "shadows our relationships with one another and sows division."
"But dear Heavenly Father, that is not the future we want for our country," Rice prayed. "We do not want that division to continue to shadow our future, or the future of our children or our grandchildren. And so we turn to you. We know that there are no easy answers, but the answers will come through you."
"As a nation and as a people, we need to race again toward you, into the embrace of your loving arms," she continued. "Dear Heavenly Father, we pray for guidance, we pray for wisdom for our leaders, and we pray that each and every one of us will leave this place justified by faith and secure and confident in your deep, deep love for us."
Concluding her prayer, Rice, who now teaches at Stanford University, hoped that Christians will "go out into the world as instruments of your peace" and "instruments of reconciliation."
"And that each and every day, dear Heavenly Father, we will search and ask that we can be a blessing to one another, as you have been a blessing to us," she said. "These things we ask in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen."
Rice's prayer comes the week after five police officers were killed by a gunman in Dallas during a Black Lives Matter protest and two black men from Minnesota and Baton Rouge were killed in police-related shootings.
Watch Rice's moving prayer here.
Follow the author of this story on Twitter: