Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

WEDNESDAY THE EIGHTEENTH OF JANUARY, 2017
* AMY CARMICHAEL *

OPENING PRAYER

Holy Lord,
whose presence inspires and consoles,
you continue your promise
from generation to generation.
With the dawning light of day
you awaken creation
to the wonders
that await.
As the sun sets
you pause on the mountain-top
to offer a vision of what lies ahead.

Living presence of God,
whose living amongst creation
continue to inspire
that we might live in the promise of God
and mark our lives
with a love
that reaches beyond emotion:
for your love
asks for activity,
in worship and service.

Embracing Spirit of God,
whose embrace offers both impetus and consolation,
you provoke within us
the recognition of our need of forgiveness.
With your overwhelming grace
we recognise the many ways in which we fail
to demonstrate your love from within.

Forgive us
when we are demanding of attention,
and want to know the answers now;
when we are reluctant to stand alongside those
in need of our support;
when we have not been willing
to allow others to speak on our behalf.

Loving Lord,
in your forgiveness
you answer our questions of how
and who to love,
drawing the breadth of your community wider.
Help us to be truly welcoming
and Christlike in our hospitality. Amen.

( MaryAnn R. Rennie )

PSALM TWENTY-EIGHT ( abridged )

The Lord is my strength and my shield.

To you I call, O Lord my rock;
be not deaf to my cry,
lest, if you do not hear me,
I become like those who go down to the Pit.
Hear the voice of my prayer when I cry out to you,
when I lift up my hands to your holy of holies.

Blessed be the Lord,
for he has heard the voice of my prayer.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart has trusted in him and I am helped;
therefore my heart dances for joy
and in my song will I praise him.

The Lord is the strength of his people,
a safe refuge for his anointed.

Save your people and bless your inheritance;
shepherd them and carry them for ever.

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 Lord is my strength and my shield.

Hear us, Shepherd of your people,
forgive us our sins
and, in a world of pretences,
make us true in heart and mind;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Amy Carmichael: “a chance to die”

Today, Saint Laika’s remembers Amy Carmichael, a remarkable woman and servant of Christ who spent fifty-five years without furlough, serving the people of India.

Carmichael prepared for her life’s work by teaching a Sunday morning class for the "shawlies," i.e. the mill girls who wore shawls instead of hats, in the church hall of Rosemary Street Presbyterian in Belfast. Her mission among the shawlies grew and grew until they needed a hall to seat five hundred people. At this time Amy saw an advertisement in "The Christian," by which an iron hall could be erected for five hundred pounds that would seat five hundred people. A donation of five hundred pounds from Miss Kate Mitchell, and another of a plot of land from a mill owners led to the erection of the first "Welcome Hall" on the corner of Cambrai Street and Heather Street in 1887.

In the same year, she heard Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission, speak about missionary life. Soon afterwards, she became convinced of her calling to missionary work. She was commissioned by the Church of England Zenana Mission. She began in Bangalore, India. Carmichael's most notable work was with girls and young women, some of whom were saved from customs that amounted to forced prostitution. Hindu temple children were primarily young girls dedicated to the gods then usually forced into prostitution to earn money for the Hindi priests.

Carmichael founded the Dohnavur Fellowship in southern India in 1901 to continue her work. There was already a school there, and Dohnavur had been a centre for German missionary work, but she transformed Dohnavur into a sanctuary for over one thousand children who would otherwise have faced a bleak future.

Once, Amy Carmichael received a letter from a young lady who was considering life as a missionary.

She asked Amy, "What is missionary life like?"

Amy wrote back saying simply, "Missionary life is simply a chance to die."

By 1913, the Dohnavur Fellowship was serving one hundred and thirty girls. In 1918, Dohnavur added a home for young boys, many born to the former temple prostitutes. Meanwhile, in 1916 Carmichael formed a Protestant religious order called Sisters of the Common Life. India outlawed temple prostitution in 1948.

Amy Carmichael died in India in 1951 at the age of eighty-three.

Scripture: In the tenth chapter of "Mark," verses fourteen and fifteen, Jesus says

"Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for child prostitutes and those who seek to rescue them.

... for those who work to provide education to children who live in poverty.

... for the people of Gambia who celebrate their independence from Great Britain today, that the current political unrest in their country may not escalate and may soon be peacefully and democratically resolved.

... 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 "Things As They Are" by Amy Carmichael:

"I beseech thee, show me thy glory!"

Shall we pray it, meaning it now, to the very uttermost? The uttermost may hold hard things, but, easy or hard, there is no other way to reach the place where our lives can receive an impetus which will make them tell for eternity. The motive power is the love of Christ. Not our love for him only, but his very love itself. It was the mighty, resistless flow of that glorious love that made the first missionary pour himself forth on the sacrifice and service.

And the joy of it rings through triumphantly, "Yea, and if I be poured forth... I joy and rejoice with you all!"

Yes, God's glory is our plea, highest, strongest, most impelling and enduring of all pleas. But oh, by the thought of the myriads who are passing, by the thought of the coming of the Lord, by the infinite realities of life and death, heaven and hell, by our saviour's cross and passion, we plead with all those who love him, but who have not considered these things yet, consider them now!

Let him show us the vision of the glory, and bring us to the very end of self, let him touch our lips with the live coal, and set us on fire to burn for him, yea, burn with consuming love for him, and a purpose none can turn us from, and a passion like a pure white flame, "a passion for
the glory of God!"

Oh, may this passion consume us! burn the self out of us, burn the love into us; for God's glory we ask it, Amen.

CLOSING PRAYER

Loving Lord, you sent Amy Carmichael to minister to the children of India. Inspired by her example of faithful service, help us be more attentive to the needs of children today who are being exploited or abused for shameful profit; through Jesus Christ, our saviour and lord. 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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