Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE NINTH OF JANUARY 2017

OPENING PRAYER

Come, Holy Spirit,
fill us.

Come, Holy Breath,
live in us.

Come, Holy Wind,
move through us.

Where we are guided by prejudice,
fill us with love.

Where we are guided by pessimism,
fill us with joy.

Where we are guided by misunderstanding,
fill us with peace.

Where we are guided by superficial quick-fixes,
fill us with patience.

Where we are guided by self-interest,
fill us with kindness.

Where we are guided by apathy,
fill us with goodness.

Where we are guided by convenience,
fill us with faithfulness.

Where we are guided by complacency,
fill us with meekness.

Where we are guided by temptation,
fill us with self-control.

Come, Holy Spirit,
fill us

Come, Holy Breath,
live in us.

Come, Holy Wind,
move through us. Amen.

PSALM TWENTY-ONE

The king puts his trust in the Lord.

The king shall rejoice in your strength, O Lord;
how greatly shall he rejoice in your salvation!
You have given him his heart's desire
and have not denied the request of his lips.
For you come to meet him with blessings of goodness
and set a crown of pure gold upon his head.
He asked of you life and you gave it him,
length of days, for ever and ever.
His honour is great because of your salvation;
glory and majesty have you laid upon him.
You have granted him everlasting felicity
and will make him glad with joy in your presence.
For the king puts his trust in the Lord;
because of the loving-kindness of the Most High,
he shall not be overthrown.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

The king puts his trust in the Lord.

Crown us, O God, but with humility,
and robe us with compassion,
that, as you call us into the kingdom of your son,
we may strive to overcome all evil
by the power of good
and so walk gently on the earth
with you, our God, for ever. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Harriet Bedell and Mary Slessor: showing forth Christ

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Harriet Bedell who spread the gospel with a life of service among the native Americans, and Mary Slessor who did the same among the native peoples of Nigeria.

Harriet Bedell, was born in Buffalo, New York on the nineteenth of March, 1875. She was trained as a schoolteacher but was inspired several years later by an Episcopalian missionary who spoke at her church describing the many needs of missionary work. In 1906 she applied to and was accepted by the New York Training School for Deaconesses, where her one-year course of study included instruction in religious matters, missions, teaching, hygiene, and hospital nursing. Following her training she was sent as a missionary-teacher to the Cheyenne Indians at Whirlwind Mission in Oklahoma. While there she cared for the sick and the poor, organised social services for the tribe, performed the duties of the rector in his absence, and provided education for the women and children. She provided religious instruction, hoping to win the confidence of the native Americans and convert them to Christianity.

Later she served in a remote part of Alaska, where she was consecrated a deaconess in the Episcopal Church. The Great Depression of the early 1930’s caused that work to stop due to lack of funds. Deaconess Bedell traveled back to New York to plead for more contributions, but she was never to return. Through speaking engagements following her service in Alaska, Bedell was invited to visit a Seminole Indian reservation in southern Florida. Appalled by their living conditions, she began her campaign to improve the quality of life among the Mikasuki-Seminole peoples by living and working with them, not merely teaching them. She sought to revive the doll making and basket weaving skills which had become nearly extinct. She spent the rest of her life among the Seminoles, and died on the eighth of January, 1969.

Mary Slessor was a Scottish Presbyterian from a working class family, who had developed a keen interest in foreign missions through her involvement at her local church. At the age of twenty-eight, having successfully completed training, she was assigned to the Calibar region of Nigeria. After many years of work with the Efik people of Calabar, she moved more deeply into the territory, where only minimal contact with the West had been established. There she lived and worked among the Okoyong tribe.

For the last four decades of her life, Slessor suffered intermittent fevers from the malaria she contracted during her first station to Calabar. However, she downplayed the personal costs, and never gave up her mission work to return permanently to Scotland. The fevers eventually weakened Slessor to the point where she could no longer walk long distances in the rainforest, but had to be pushed along in a hand-cart. She died in early January, 1915.

Scripture. In Psalm Ninety-Six, verses two and three we find these words:

"Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous works among all the peoples."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for missionaries who proclaim the love of God through their words and actions.

... for the people of Republika Srpska who whose national day is today.

... for those affected by adverse weather conditions.

... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From "Fellowship with God" by William Temple:

We have not been sufficiently thorough in our interpretation of God by means of his full revelation of himself in Christ. We have often kept a conception of God based on the Old Testament, and even on sources of far less value, and have added something from the New Testament side by side with this. In the result popular thought has conceived the heavenly Father as only a stern potentate and Christ as only the gentle saviour. Justice becomes concentrated in one, and mercy in the other. In the Middle Ages there was a similar tendency to concentrate all gentleness in the Blessed Virgin Mary and to regard our Lord as only the stern judge. All such divisions are false in principle. If we are Christians we are to think of God in terms of Christ. Christ is the crown, and therefore the criterion, of all revelation. Whatever in other revelation conflicts with the revelation made in him must be a distortion due to the frailty or limitations of the human soul through whom that other revelation came.

But we must be firmly honest with our selves. It is Christ as he truly lived in whom the Father is revealed, and to find out that truth we must constantly read the Gospels with close attention and alert imagination. The very familiarity of the words makes it easy to read or hear them without really bringing before our minds that of which they speak. Meanwhile, a conception is formed by hymns that we happen to like, or pictures that we happen frequently to see, and such conceptions, casually formed, are usually one sided at best.

The Divine character, as we see it in the life of Christ, is not one sided either in sternness or in gentleness. Both are found there as occasion calls for them.

CLOSING PRAYER

Holy God, you chose your faithful servants Mary Slessor and Harriet Bedell to live the gospel amidst the indigenous peoples of North America and Nigeria: Fill us with compassion and respect for all people, and empower us for the work of ministry throughout the world; through Jesus Christ our lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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