Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

TUESDAY THE FOURTH OF APRIL, 2017
* Martin Luther King, Junior *

OPENING PRAYER

Eternal God, out of whose absolute power and infinite intelligence the whole universe has come into being, we humbly confess that we have not loved you with our hearts, souls and minds, and we have not loved our neighbours as Christ loved us. We have all too often lived by our own selfish impulses rather than by the life of sacrificial love as revealed by Christ. We often give in order to receive. We love our friends and hate our enemies. We go the first mile but dare not travel the second. We forgive but dare not forget. And so as we look within ourselves, we are confronted with the appalling fact that the history of our lives is the history of an eternal revolt against you. But you, O God, have mercy upon us. Forgive us for what we could have been but failed to be. Give us the intelligence to know your will. Give us the courage to do your will. Give us the devotion to love your will. In the name and spirit of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

( Martin Luther King, Junior )

CANTICLE

Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe
we shall overcome, some day.

We shall overcome, we shall overcome,
we shall overcome, some day.

We'll walk hand in hand, we'll walk hand in hand,
we'll walk hand in hand, some day.

We shall live in peace, we shall live in peace,
we shall live in peace, some day.

We are not afraid, we are not afraid,
we are not afraid, today

The whole wide world around, the whole wide world around
The whole wide world around some day

Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe
we shall overcome, some day.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Martin Luther King, Junior: “free at last”

The Biblical story of Israel’s exodus from Egypt, their liberation by God from slavery to freedom, has provided inspiration to many people who struggle to gain acceptance and equality from the world.

No less did it inspire Doctor Matin Luther King, Junior the son and grandson of Baptist preachers who combined his passion with a thorough academic preparation for the ministry.

In 1954, King became pastor of a church in Montgomery, Alabama. There, the inhumane treatment of blacks by whites had been simmering for some time and finally erupted in December 1955 when Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man.

King was catapulted into national prominence as the leader of the Montgomery bus boycott. He became increasingly the articulate prophet, who could not only rally the black masses, but could also move the consciences of whites.

King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to spearhead non-violent mass demonstrations against racism. As year followed upon year, there were many confrontations, most notably in Birmingham and Selma, Alabama, and in Chicago. King’s campaigns were instrumental to the passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, 1965 and 1968. King then turned his attention to economic empowerment of the poor and opposition to the Vietnam War, contending that racism, poverty and militarism were interrelated.

Doctor King’s leadership touched deep nerves of hatred and his life was constantly in danger. Death threats were common. But his deep faith sustained him through it all. He had a “mountain-top” experience of the Lord’s power and grace, and spoke of receiving a promise from God that he would never be left alone.

Doctor King went to Memphis in early April, 1968, in support of sanitation workers in their struggle for better wages. There, he proclaimed that he had been “to the mountain-top” and had seen “the Promised Land,” and that he knew that one day he and his people would be “free at last.” On the following day, the fourth of April, he was cut down by an assassin’s bullet.

Scripture. In the sixth chapter of "Ephesians," at verses nineteen and twenty, we read:

Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for an end to race hatred.

... for those who are prepared to risk their lives to end injustice.

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

... for the fifty-eight people or more who were killed and those who were injured in a chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun, a rebel held town in north-western Syria. DETAILS

... for the fourteen people killed and the forty-nine people injured when a Saint Petersburg train was bombed yesterday afternoon. DETAILS

... for the mother and her two children who drowned after their car plunged into floodwaters in New South Wales, today, following torrential rain in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie and for all victims of the recent storms that have hit Australia. DETAILS

... for the success of attempts to rid the world of landmines. DETAILS

... for victims of slavery and human trafficking.

... 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.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

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.

READING

From "The False God of Money," a sermon by Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior:

We have been attempting to stress throughout this series that a man's God is not his theory about God, picked up on the surface of his mind because he happens to live in the twentieth century, but a man's real God is that to which he gives his ultimate devotion, that unifying loyalty which draws his life together and gives it centrality and singleness of aim.

As soon as the matter is so stated, it becomes clear that millions today have made a god of money. Daily within our lives, altars smoke with sacrifices to this idol god. We attribute to the almighty dollar an omnipotence equal to that of the eternal God of the universe. We are always on the verge of rewriting the scriptures to read, "Seek ye first money and its power and all these other things will be added unto you" or "money is my light and my salvation, what shall I fear?”

The temptation to worship this money god is one that faces us all. To resist it we need to take high ground. This god of money is forever standing before us saying, "Worship me, I'll be your god. I'll teach you how to get rich quick; I'll teach you the shrewd methods or exploitation; I'll show you how to get a Cadillac car or a Buick convertible with little effort. Just worship Me."

Oh how many have responded to the call of this god of money. Millions today are dutifully worshipping at the shrine of the god of money.

So long as we worship this false god of money, we will not be true worshippers of the one eternal God. Would today there were another Elijah to summons the peoples or the earth to meet him on the crest of some Mount Carmel, confronting them there with the choice between their baals and the true God. For still that ancient word might well ring across this modern world: “How long go ye limping between two sides? If the Lord. be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him."

So today man does stand between the god of money and the eternal God of the universe. Choose which ye will serve. Will you serve the transitory god of money which is here today and gone tomorrow or will you serve the eternal God or the universe who is the same yesterday, today and forever? Will you serve the god who is with us only in moments or prosperity or will you serve the God who walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death and causes us to fear no evil? Will you serve the god whose power is limited to stacking up stocks and bonds or will you serve the God whose creative power stacked up the gigantic mountains as if to kiss the skies and set forth the stars to bedeck the heavens like swinging lanterns of eternity? Choose ye this day whom ye shall serve, the god of money or the eternal God or the universe.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, by the hand of Moses your servant you led your people out of slavery, and made them free at last: grant that your church, following the example of your prophet Martin Luther King Junior, may resist oppression in the name of your love, and may secure for all your children the blessed liberty of the gospel of Jesus Christ; 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.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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