Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s



Almighty God, have mercy upon us, who, when troubled with the things that are past, lose faith, and life, and courage, and hope. So have mercy upon us, and uphold us, that we, being sustained by a true faith that you are merciful and forgiving, may go on in the life of the future to keep your commandments, to rejoice in your bounty, to trust in your mercy, and to hope in the eternal life. Grant to all of us, whatever may happen to us us, to remember always that it is all of your guidance, under your care, by your will; that so, in darkest days, beholding you we may have courage to go on, faith to endure, patience to bear, and hopefulness to hold out, even to the end. Amen

PSALM FORTY-NINE ( abridged )

Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.

Hear this, all you peoples;
listen, all you that dwell in the world,
you of low or high degree,
both rich and poor together.
My mouth shall speak of wisdom
and my heart shall meditate on understanding.
I will incline my ear to a parable;
I will unfold my riddle with the lyre.

Why should I fear in evil days,
when the malice of my foes surrounds me,
such as trust in their goods
and glory in the abundance of their riches?

For no one can indeed ransom another
or pay to God the price of deliverance.
To ransom a soul is too costly;
there is no price one could pay for it,
so that they might live for ever,
and never see the grave.

For we see that the wise die also;
with the foolish and ignorant they perish
and leave their riches to others.
Their tomb is their home for ever,
their dwelling through all generations,
though they call their lands after their own names.

Those who have honour, but lack understanding,
are like the beasts that perish.
Such is the way of those who boast in themselves,
the end of those who delight in their own words.
Like a flock of sheep they are destined to die;
death is their shepherd;
they go down straight to the Pit.
Their beauty shall waste away,
and the land of the dead shall be their dwelling.
But God shall ransom my soul;
from the grasp of death will he take me.

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.

Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.

Save us from envy, God our Redeemer,
and deliver us from the chains of wealth,
that, ransomed through your Son,
we may inherit the crown of everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Anna Julia Haywood Cooper, Elizabeth Evelyn Wright: teachers

The "Emancipation Proclamation" brought an end to the institution of slavery in the United States, and the Union victory in America’s Civil War cemented freedom for African-American slaves throughout the south. But in the wake of emancipation, how were black Americans to live out the freedom they had achieved? Saint Laika’s today remembers two African-American women who, in the years after the Civil War devoted themselves to the education of African American children.

Anna Julia Haywood Cooper was born in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1859. She was an academically gifted child and received a scholarship to attend Saint Augustine Normal School and Collegiate Institute, a school founded by the Episcopal Church to educate African-American teachers and clergy. There she began her membership in the Episcopal Church. She married George A.C. Cooper, the second African-American ordained to the Episcopal priesthood in North Carolina. After her husband's death in 1879, Cooper received degrees in mathematics from Oberlin College, and was made principal of the only African American high school in Washington D.C. Throughout her career, Cooper emphasised the importance of education to the future of African Americans, and was critical of the lack of support they received from the Church. An advocate for African-American women, Cooper assisted in organising the Coloured Women's League and the first Coloured Settlement House in Washington, D.C. She wrote and spoke widely on issues of race and gender, and took an active role in national and international organisations founded to advance African Americans. In 1925, Cooper became the fourth African-American woman to complete a Ph.D degree, granted from the Sorbonne when she was sixty-five years old. From 1930-1942, Cooper served as president of Frelinghuysen University.

Elizabeth Evelyn Wright was born in Talbotton, Georgia in 1872. She was a humanitarian and educator, founding several schools for black children. In 1888, she attended Booker T. Washington's Tuskegee Institute as a night student. In 1897, she moved to Denmark in rural Bamberg County, South Carolina. There she started a school over a store with the support of some influential people in the community. She raised money for what she called Denmark Industrial School, modelled after Tuskegee Institute. Ralph Voorhees and his wife, philanthropists from Clinton, New Jersey, donated five thousand dollars for the purchase of land and the construction of the school's first building. In 1902 Voorhees Industrial School opened for male and female students at the elementary and high school levels, and Wright was principal. Voorhees provided additional gifts during the next few years, and the General Assembly incorporated the school in his name. The school was later affiliated with the Protestant Episcopal Church and eventually became a fully accredited four-year college.

Scripture: In the "First Letter to Timothy," chapter four, verses seven to ten, we read:

"Train yourself in godliness, for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the saviour of all people, especially of those who believe."


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for teachers, lecturers and educationalists.

... that free education for all may become a reality throughout the world especially for children.

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

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

I hope you will not misunderstand what I am going to say. I am not preaching, and heaven knows I do not pretend to be better than anyone else. I am only trying to call attention to a fact; the fact that this year, or this month, or, more likely, this very day, we have failed to practise ourselves the kind of behaviour we expect from other people. There may be all sorts of excuses for us. That time you were so unfair to the children was when you were very tired. That slightly shady business about the money (the one you have almost forgotten) came when you were very hard up. And what you promised to do for old so-and-so and have never done, well, you never would have promised if you had known how frightfully busy you were going to be. And as for your behaviour to your wife (or husband) or sister (or brother) if I knew how irritating they could be, I would not wonder at it and who the dickens am I, anyway? I am just the same. That is to say, I do not succeed in keeping the Law of Nature very well, and the moment anyone tells me I am not keeping it, there starts up in my mind a string of excuses as long as your arm. The question at the moment is not whether they are good excuses. The point is that they are one more proof of how deeply, whether we like it or not, we believe in the Law of Nature. If we do not believe in decent behaviour, why should we be so anxious to make excuses for not having behaved decently? The truth is, we believe in decency so much (we feel the Rule or Law pressing on us) that we cannot bear to face the fact that we are breaking it, and consequently we try to shift the responsibility. For you notice that it is only for our bad behaviour that we find all these explanations. It is only our bad temper that we put down to being tired or worried or hungry; we put our good temper down to ourselves.


Eternal God, you inspired Anna Julia Haywood Cooper and Elizabeth Evelyn Wright with the love of learning and the joy of teaching: help us also to gather and use the resources of our communities for the education of all your children; through Jesus Christ our saviour, 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.


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Woman Among Lit Votive Candles

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