Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

* John Coleridge Patteson *


Let my heart always think of him. Let my head always bow down to him. Let my lips always sing his praise. Let my hand always worship him. Let my body always serve him with love.

0 Lord of grace, immense like a mountain peak full of goodness! Forgive my sins! When my spirit leaves my body, let me behold your divine face, radiant like the lotus even on the cross on which your enemies nailed
you. Let my heart rejoice in your sacred name. Grant this boon to me, O Lord! Amen.

( Henry Arthur Krishnapillai, 1827–1900 )


Jesus shall conquer, lift up the strain!
Evil shall perish and righteousness shall reign.

Yet once again, by God’s abundant mercy,
we join our song of thankfulness and praise;
ever the light of our redeemer’s victory
does shine before us in the world’s dark ways.

O for the time of Christ’s completed mission,
throbs of its rapture reach us as we pray;
gleams of its glory bursting on our vision
send us to labour, urge us on our way.

Stretch out your hand, O God, and let the nations
feel through your host the thrill of life divine;
grant us, we pray, still greater revelations,
make of these days an everlasting sign.

Jesus shall conquer, lift up the strain!
Evil shall perish and righteousness shall reign.

( Albert Orsborn, 1886-1967 )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

John Coleridge Patteson: from Oxford to the South Pacific

John Coleridge Patteson was born in London in 1827. He attended Balliol College, Oxford, and graduated in 1849. After a tour of Europe and a study of languages, he became a fellow of Merton College, Oxford, in 1852. In 1855, he heard Bishop George Selwyn of New Zealand call for volunteers to go the South Pacific to preach the gospel. He went there and founded a school for the education of native Christian workers. He was adept at languages and learned twenty-three of the languages spoken in the Polynesian and Melanesian Islands of the South Pacific. In 1861 he was consecrated Bishop of Melanesia.

The slave-trade was technically illegal in the South Pacific at that time, but the laws were only laxly enforced and in fact, slave-raiding was a flourishing business. Patteson was actively engaged in the effort to stamp it out.

However, injured men do not always distinguish friends from foes. After slave-raiders had attacked the island of Nakapu, in the Santa Cruz group, Patteson and several companions visited the area. They were assumed to be connected with the raiders and Patteson's body was floated back to his ship with five hatchet wounds in the chest, one for each native who had been killed in the earlier raid.

The death of Bishop Patteson caused an uproar back in England and stimulated the government there to take firm measures to stamp out slavery and the slave trade in its Pacific territories. It was also the seed of a strong and vigorous church in Melanesia today. Patteson and his companions died on the twentieth of September, 1871.

Scripture. In the seventh chapter of "Acts", verses fifty-eight to sixty, we read.

Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.

While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."

Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them.

When he had said this, he died.


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for those who risk much to take the good news of Jesus Christ to those places in the world where it is most needed.

... for linguists and translators.

... for the people of Nepal who celebrate their national day today.

... for trafficked children; that they may be freed from their bondage and returned to their homes; for an end to the trade in young human lives.

... fo those in prison who are not guilty of the crime they have been convicted for.

... for those killed or injured in the recent stormy weather and subsequent floods in Europe; for all whose homes and property have been damaged.

... 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 "The Abiding Comforter." a sermon by John Coleridge Patteson:

There are, my brethren, in the lives of us all, certain times, as I suppose, of special trial and anxiety, when the sense of our weakness presses heavily upon us. When some heavy affliction overwhelms us, or the difficulty of any work committed to us appears almost insurmountable, when "our hearts are troubled, and we are afraid."

At such times, when we are more than usually conscious of our own utter inability to contend with the temptations to despondency presented by troubles from without and the weight of care within, the mind seems by God's blessing to be furnished with a more than ordinary power of appropriating and realising the words of Christ.

We naturally turn to the last discourse of our Lord, in which he unfolded for the comfort and support of his sorrowing disciples the counsel of God determined of old, by which he would provide for the wants of his people when Christ's visible presence was withdrawn from them. We read, again and again, those words of consolation and blessing and peace, and as we read we grow into a comprehension of the reality of his presence among and in us; and we know that we have him with us still, in greater power than ever, in more intimate communion: and our hearts become calm, and patient, and collected; and we feel that we shall be enabled to bear any sorrows that he may commit to us, because we have the promise of the Comforter to abide with us forever.

If it were not so, how could we live through the trials to which all are liable, and under which so many are suffering? Sickness and pain and poverty are the lot of some, and what but the consciousness of the "love of God shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost" can "comfort them when they lie sick upon their bed," or when they "eat their bread with carefulness?" They know that they are in the hands of their Father in heaven, and that "all things are working together for good to them that love God." Loss of friends, bereavement, loneliness, and desolation fall with heavier sorrow upon others, the flowers of life early faded, hopes destroyed, fond imaginations gone forever, no human arm to help them along the weary, toilsome road to that rest which seems so far away; but the word of mercy speaks to the dull, grief-stricken heart, "You are not alone; the God of the fatherless and the widow is with you; Christ who has endured it all and who knows your present sorrow, is in your soul comforting and soothing you by the blessed influences of his Holy Spirit." He is bringing peace, his own peace he is giving to the mourner and the heavy laden; they see him not, but he is present by his Spirit; he is calling them to him, that they may in him find rest for their souls.


God of all tribes and peoples and tongues, who called your servant John Coleridge Patteson to witness in life and death to the gospel of Christ amongst the peoples of Melanesia: grant us to hear your call to service and to respond trustfully and joyfully to Jesus Christ our Redeemer, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of 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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