Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

* Eric Liddell *


How great is your goodness, dear Lord.
Blessed are you for ever.

May all created things praise you, O God, for loving us so much that we can truthfully speak of your fellowship with mankind, even in this earthly exile; and however virtuous we may be, our virtue always depends on your great warmth and generosity, dear Lord.

Your bounty is infinite.
How wonderful are your works!

( Teresa of Avila )


There is a race for us to run and a way for us the race to win.
To all those who have begun, God has spoken, “Look away to Him!

Look away from all around; look away from all the strife and din;
look away where peace is found; look away from everything to him.

Look away from fickle soul: look away from failing self within;
look away toward the goal; look away from everything to him.

Look away from all the past: look away from both the good and sin;
to the living one hold fast: look away from everything to him.

Look away into his face, he who will finish what he did begin.
O what grace to run the race, we obtain by looking off to him.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Eric Liddell: The Flying Scotsman wins gold in China

Today Saint Laika’s is remembering Eric Henry Liddell, a 1924 Olympic gold medal champion made famous by the film “Chariots of Fire.” His everlasting gold was his life of service to Christ and the people of China.

Liddell was born in Tianjin, China in 1902. His parents were Scottish missionaries working with the London Missionary Society. We might expect a child of missionaries to become equally devoted to the faith his parents laboured to share, but at age six, he was sent, along with his older brother, to Eltham College, Blackheath, a boarding school for the children of missionaries and the faith of the staff and teachers there also contributed to his deep and devout faith. Liddell remained there until he enrolled in Edinburgh University.

Liddell excelled in athletics throughout his educational career. His faith was put to the test in the 1924 Olympics when the one hundred metre dash, the run he had trained for, was to be held on a Sunday. Liddell withdrew from the competition, for he had made a firm commitment to take the Sunday Sabbath as a strict act of submission to God. Instead he ran in the four hundred metre race, and surprised himself and the world by capturing the gold medal.

After the Olympics, he returned to China and became a missionary, following in his parents’ footsteps, first in Tianjin and later in Xiaozhang. He was a teacher at an Anglo-Chinese college. He was ordained in 1932 and in 1932 married Florence Mackenzie, herself a daughter of Canadian missionaries.

Because of ongoing conflict between China and Japan in the 1930’s, Liddell and his family endured significant hardships. In 1941, after the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbour, the British government advised expatriates to leave the country. Florence Liddell took the children and fled to Canada.

Ignoring personal danger, Liddell accepted a new position at a rural mission station in Shaochang, which gave service to the poor. Then the Chinese and the Japanese were at war. When the fighting reached Shaochang the Japanese took over the mission station. In 1943, Liddell was sent to an internment camp with other missionaries. He died there of a brain tumour on the twenty-first of February, 1945, five months before liberation.

Scripture. In the "Second Letter of Peter," chapter one, at verses three and four, we read:

His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world.


Let us now call to mind our sin and the infinite mercy of God.

God the Father, have mercy upon us.
God the Son, have mercy upon us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy upon us.
Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, have mercy upon us.

From all evil and mischief; from pride, vanity, and hypocrisy;
from envy, hatred, and malice; and from all evil intent,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sloth, worldliness and love of money;
from hardness of heart and contempt for your word and your laws,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sins of body and mind;
from the deceits of the world, the flesh and the devil,
good Lord, deliver us.

In all times of sorrow; in all times of joy;
in the hour of death, and at the day of judgement,
good Lord, deliver us.

By the mystery of your holy incarnation;
by your birth, childhood and obedience;
by your baptism, fasting and temptation,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your ministry in word and work;
by your mighty acts of power;
and by your preaching of the kingdom,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your agony and trial;
by your cross and passion;
and by your precious death and burial,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your mighty resurrection;
by your glorious ascension;
and by your sending of the Holy Spirit,
good Lord, deliver us.

Give us true repentance; forgive us our sins of negligence and ignorance and our deliberate sins; and grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit to amend our lives according to your holy word.

Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal, have mercy upon us.
Make our hearts clean, O God; and renew a right spirit within us.

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for Christian athletes.

... that we may never be tempted to consider ourselves greater than God or regard any endeavour of our own to be more important than the work of God.

... for the children of missionaries, clergy and church workers.

... for those living with brain tumours; that any surgery or other treatment they receive will be successful. DETAILS

... for the people of Saint Lucia who celebrate their national day today.

... for victims of domestic violence.

... for those killed or injured when a coach veered off the Pan-American Highway near in the southern Arequipa province of Peru and plummeted three hundred and thirty feet down a rocky river bank; for all victims of recent road traffic accidents. DETAILS

... for people suffering from depression; that they may find the right medication or other treatment to make them well.

... for those facing redundancy from work.

... for those who have died recently 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 in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.


From "An Altar in the World" by Barbara Brown Taylor:

At least one day in every seven, pull off the road and park the car in the garage. Close the door to the toolshed and turn off the computer. Stay home, not because you are sick but because you are well. Talk someone you love into being well with you. Take a nap, a walk, and hour for lunch. Test the premise that you are worth more than you can produce, that even if you spent one whole day of being good for nothing you would still be precious in God’s sight. And when you get anxious because you are convinced that this is not so, remember that your own conviction is not required. This is a commandment. Your worth has already been established, even when you are not working. The purpose of the commandment is to woo you to the same truth.


Almighty God, we rejoice in remembering your athlete and missionary, Eric Liddell, to whom you gave courage and resolution in contest and in captivity; and we pray that we also may run with endurance the race set before us and persevere in patient witness, until we wear that crown of victory won for us by Jesus our saviour; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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


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