Daily Prayer At Saint Laika

* Jonathan Daniels *


O God, the well of love and father of all, make us so to love that we know not but to love every person in Jesus Christ, your son, our lord. Amen.

( fourteenth century collect )


You sons of pride, that hate the just, and trample on the poor,
when death has brought you down to dust, your pomp shall rise no more.

The last great day shall change the scene; when will that hour appear?
When shall the just revive and reign over all that scorned them here?

God will my naked soul receive when separate from the flesh;
and break the prison of the grave, to raise my bones afresh.

Heaven is my everlasting home, the inheritance is sure:
let men of pride their rage resume, but I will repine no more.

( Isaac Watts, 1674–1748 )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Jonathan Daniels: hid with Christ in God

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Jonathan Daniels, a seminary student from the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who was shot and killed in Selma, Alabama, in 1965, whilst working for the cause of equal rights for African-Americans. This is especially poignant as this remembrance comes after the first anniversary of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, perpetrated by white supremacists and others in the neo-Nazi movement.

Doctor Martin Luther King had issued a call for others to join him in Selma to march to the state capitol, on behalf of the Civil Rights Movement.

Daniels tells in his own words what happened to him during Evensong at the seminary: “I was singing the "Magnificat" with the special love and reverence I have always felt for Mary's glad song. Then it came. 'He hath put down the mighty from their seat and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things.' I knew then that I must go to Selma. The Virgin's song was to grow more and more dear in the weeks ahead.”

He went to Selma, but realising how ineffective his own witness would be if he simply returned to Cambridge, he received permission to complete his semester off campus and he stayed in Selma through the spring of 1965, returning to Cambridge only to take exams and turn in papers. Jonathan devoted many of his Sundays in Selma to bringing small groups of Blacks, mostly high school students, to church with him in an effort to integrate the local Episcopal church. In August, he and others were arrested for picketing local businesses and spent six days in jail. Upon their release, they entered a local store, where a man met them with a loaded shotgun. He aimed his gun at one of the women in the group and Jonathan pushed her out of the way, taking the shotgun blast himself, which was fatal.

He wrote: “ I lost fear when I began to know in my bones and sinews that I had been truly baptised into the Lord's death and resurrection, that in the only sense that really matters I am already dead, and my life is hid with Christ in God.“

Scripture. In "The Book of Proverbs," the fourth chapter, from verse twenty-three to twenty-six we read:

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forwards, and your gaze be straight before you. Keep straight the path of your feet, and all your ways will be sure.


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... that equal civil rights may be extended to all people; that all forms of apartheid may cease; that tribalism, segregation and racism may be banished from the world.

... for the safety of all who campaign for human rights.

... that we may be prepared to "walk the talk."

... for the people of the Falkland Islands and Pakistan who celebrate their national day today.

... for those who are finding it difficult to get the medical help they need.

... for those who have been refused health care because of cost.

... for those who were injured or traumatised when a man drove a car into cyclists and pedestrians outside the British Houses of Parliament this morning; for an end to all acts of terrorism. DETAILS

... for those who died when a motorway bridge near the Italian city of Genoa collapsed. DETAILS

... for shop staff who face redundancy because more and more people are buying goods over the internet.

... for victims of pension scams and other financial fraud.

... for Aretha Franklin. DETAILS

... 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 "Mere Christianity" by C. S. Lewis:

If Christianity is true why are not all Christians obviously nicer than all non-Christians?

What lies behind that question is partly something very reasonable and partly something that is not reasonable at all. The reasonable part is this. If conversion to Christianity makes no improvement in a man’s outward actions, if he continues to be just as snobbish or spiteful or envious or ambitious as he was before, then I think we must suspect that his "conversion" was largely imaginary; and after one’s original conversion, every time one thinks one has made an advance, that is the test to apply. Fine feelings, new insights, greater interest in "religion" mean nothing unless they make our actual behaviour better; just as in an illness "feeling better" is not much good if the thermometer shows that your temperature is still going up. In that sense the outer world is quite right to judge Christianity by its results. Christ told us to judge by results. A tree is known by its fruit; or, as we say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. When we Christians behave badly, or fail to behave well, we are making Christianity unbelievable to the outside world. The war-time posters told us that Careless Talk costs Lives. It is equally true that Careless Lives cost Talk. Our careless lives set the outer world talking; and we give them grounds for talking in a way that throws doubt on the truth of Christianity itself.


O God we give you thanks for your faithful witness Jonathan Daniels, who, in the midst of injustice and violence, risked and gave his life for another; and we pray that we, following his example, may make no peace with oppression; through Jesus Christ the just one: 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.


CLICK HERE, then click on "Begin" and follow the instructions on each page.

Comments are closed.