Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s



O Lord God, holy lover of my soul, when you enter my soul, all that is within me rejoices. You are my glory and the exultation of my heart; you are my hope and refuge in the day of my trouble. Set me free from all evil passions, and heal my heart of all inordinate affections; that, being inwardly cured and thoroughly cleansed, I may be made fit to love, courageous to suffer, steady to persevere. Let me love you more than myself and not love myself but for you. Amen.

( Thomas à Kempis. )

PSALM FIFTY-FOUR ( abridged )

Behold, God is my helper.

Save me, O God, by your name
and vindicate me by your power.
Hear my prayer, O God;
give heed to the words of my mouth.
For strangers have risen up against me,
and the ruthless seek after my life;
they have not set God before them.

Behold, God is my helper;
it is the Lord who upholds my life.
For he has delivered me out of all my trouble,
and my eye has seen the downfall of my enemies.

An offering of a free heart will I give you
and praise your name, O Lord, for it is gracious.

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.

Behold, God is my helper.

O living God,
reach through the violence of the proud
and the despair of the weak
to create in Jesus Christ
a people free to praise your holy name,
now and for ever. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

James Theodore Holly: bringing the Church to Haiti

James Theodore Holly was the first African American bishop in the Episcopal Church and bishop of Haiti. He has an interesting history.

He was born in 1829 in Washington, DC, the descendent of freed slaves. His great-great grandfather was a Scotsman in Maryland, a slave owner, who freed his slaves in 1772, including his son and namesake James Theodore Holly. This son married the daughter of an Irish Catholic whose last name was Butler, and they were the great grandparents of Bishop James Theodore Holly.

Holly was baptised and raised a Roman Catholic yet gradually he moved away from the Roman Catholic Church. He spent his early years in Washington, DC and Brooklyn, NY where he connected with Frederick Douglass and other black abolitionists. He was active in anti-slavery conventions in the free states, participating in abolitionist activities.

He left the Roman Catholic Church over a dispute about ordaining local black clergy and joined the Episcopal Church in 1852. He was a shoemaker, then a teacher and school principal before his own ordination at the age of twenty-seven. He served as rector at Saint Luke’s Church in New Haven, Connecticut.

In 1861 he left the United States with his family and a group of African Americans to settle in Haiti, the world’s first black republic. In July 1863 Holly organised the Holy Trinity Church. He lost his family and other settlers to disease and poor living conditions but was successful in establishing schools and building the church. He trained young priests and started congregations and medical programs in the countryside.

In 1874 he was ordained bishop at Grace Church, New York City, not by the mainstream Episcopal Church, who refused to ordain a black missionary bishop, but by the American Church Missionary Society, an evangelical episcopal branch of the Church. He was named Bishop of the Anglican Orthodox Episcopal Church of Haiti. Bishop Holly was also given charge of the Episcopal Church in the Dominican Republic from 1897 to 1911. He died in Haiti in on the thirteenth of March, 1911.

Scripture. In the fourth chapter of "John" at verses thirty-four and thirty-five we read:

Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say, 'Four months more, then comes the harvest?' But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting."


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the people of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

... for the thirty-four (or more) people who have been killed after a runaway bus veered into crowd in the Haitian city of Gonaives anf for all who have been injured or otherwise affected by the incident. DETAILS

... for missionaries and church-planters.

... for all who are suffering from mental illness and for those who love them.

... for Julia Derbyshire and her family. For all who are bullied, in particular children and young people. For all who believe that the only way out of their anguish is to take their own lives. DETAILS

... for the children of Syria. DETAILS

... for workers taking industrial action to try and save their jobs.

... for those killed, injured or still missing following a landslide at a rubbish dump on the outskirts of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. DETAILS

... for the forty (or more) people who were killed and those who were injured in a twin bombing in Damascus on Friday. DETAILS

... 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.


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.


From "Our Countrymen In Chains" by John Greenleaf Whittier

Our fellow-countrymen in chains!
Slaves, in a land of light and law!
Slaves, crouching on the very plains
where rolled the storm of freedom's war!
A groan from Eutaw's haunted wood,
a wail where Camden's martyrs fell,
by every shrine of patriot blood,
from Moultrie's wall and Jasper's well!

By storied hill and hallowed grot,
by mossy wood and marshy glen,
whence rang of old the rifle-shot,
and hurrying shout of Marion's men!
The groan of breaking hearts is there,
the falling lash, the fetter's clank!
Slaves, slaves are breathing in that air
which old De Kalb and Sumter drank!

What, ho! our countrymen in chains!
The whip on woman's shrinking flesh!
Our soil yet reddening with the stains
caught from her scourging, warm and fresh!
What! mothers from their children riven!
What! God's own image bought and sold!
Americans to market driven,
and bartered as the brute for gold!

Speak! shall their agony of prayer
come thrilling to our hearts in vain?
To us whose fathers scorned to bear
the paltry menace of a chain;
to us, whose boast is loud and long
of holy liberty and light;
say, shall these writhing slaves of wrong
plead vainly for their plundered right?


Most gracious God, by the calling of your servant James Theodore Holly you gave us an outstanding shepherd for your flock, who brought the Gospel and the Church to the people of Haiti. Grant that, inspired by his testimony, we may overcome our prejudice and honour those whom you call from every family, language, people, and nation; through Jesus Christ our lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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


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