Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s



O God, of surpassing goodness, whom the round world with one voice praises for your sweet benignity; we pray you to remove from us all error, that so we may perform your will; through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.


You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.

O Lord, God of my salvation,
I have cried day and night before you.
Let my prayer come into your presence;
incline your ear to my cry.
For my soul is full of troubles;
my life draws near to the land of death.
I am counted as one gone down to the Pit;
I am like one that has no strength,
lost among the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
for they are cut off from your hand.

You have laid me in the lowest pit,
in a place of darkness in the abyss.
Your anger lies heavy upon me,
and you have afflicted me with all your waves.
You have put my friends far from me
and made me to be abhorred by them.
I am so fast in prison that I cannot get free;
my eyes fail from all my trouble.

But as for me, O Lord,
I will cry to you;
early in the morning
my prayer shall come before you.

Lord, why have you rejected my soul?
Why have you hidden your face from me?
I have been wretched
and at the point of death from my youth;
I suffer your terrors and am no more seen.
Your wrath sweeps over me;
your horrors are come to destroy me;
All day long they come about me like water;
they close me in on every side.
Lover and friend have you put far from me
and hid my companions out of my sight.

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.

You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.

In the depths of our isolation
we cry to you, Lord God;
give light in our darkness
and bring us out of the prison of our despair
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Godric of Finchale: single-hearted lover of God
(transferred from Sunday)

Today, Saint Laika’s remembers with affection Godric of Finchale, a medieval English hermit, lover of animals, wise guide to archbishops and popes.

Godric was born at Walpole in Norfolk (England) around the year 1065. He was a peddler of some sort, a traveling salesman indeed, whose wanderings led him to sea for a period of around sixteen years. During this time he became a part-owner of a number of vessels, one of which he went on to captain.

Godric’s maritime exploits brought him to the island of Lindisfarne off the Northumbrian coast, and here he became acquainted with tales of St Cuthbert, Lindisfarne’s greatest saint. His life was transformed by his encounter with Cuthbert and he experienced a profound conversion.

Godric came to live in Finchale near Durham, alongside the River Wear. He created a hermitage dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. His biographers recorded that he lived an ascetic life on this site for fifty years, living and sleeping outside and rejecting expensive cloth and plentiful food. It is said that he slept on the ground with only stones and branches as his furniture. His last years were marred by extreme sickness, perhaps a result of his difficult life-style. For almost a decade before his death on the twenty-first of May, 1170, Godric was confined to his bed and cared for by monks of Durham.

Four songs of St Godric's have come down to us. They are the oldest songs in English for which the original musical settings survive. The first song he said was taught to him by the Virgin Mary herself, in a vision. He lived to the amazing age of one hundred and five.

Scripture. In the first chapter of "Job," at verses twenty and twenty-one, we read:

"Then Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell on the ground and worshipped.

"He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.’"


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for all who find God in solitary ways.

... for all who love and care for animals.

... for all who make music or compose songs.

... that the weather will be fair for the annual, open air, Ascension Day service at Finchale Abbey this week and that people will enjoy God there.

... for healthy biodiversity on our planet and an end to human activity which leads to the extinction of animal and plant species. DETAILS

... for the people of Martinique who celebrate Abolition of Slavery Day today and the people of Yemen who celebrate Unity Day today.

... for the twenty-four people who were injured in a bomb blast at Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand DETAILS; the two people killed by gunmen at a guesthouse in west of Kabul, Afghanistan DETAILS.

... for Wang Quanzhang and his family and for lawyers, legal assistants and human rights activists in China who campaign for justice even though this means suffering persecution from their government. DETAILS

... that the women and children of South Africa may no longer have to fear being abused and that the good men of South Africa may succeed in making the nation a safe place for all. DETAILS

... 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 "A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers by Henry David Thoreau:

As the truest society approaches always nearer to solitude, so the most excellent speech finally falls into Silence. Silence is audible to all men, at all times, and in all places. She is when we hear inwardly, sound when we hear outwardly. Creation has not displaced her, but is her visible framework and foil. All sounds are her servants and purveyors, proclaiming not only that their mistress is, but is a rare mistress, and earnestly to be sought after. They are so far akin to Silence, that they are but bubbles on her surface, which straightway burst, an evidence of the strength and prolificness of the under-current; a faint utterance of silence, and then only agreeable to our auditory nerves when they contrast themselves with and relieve the former. In proportion as they do this, and are heighteners and intensifiers of the Silence, they are harmony and purest melody.

Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment; that background which the painter may not daub, be he master or bungler, and which, however awkward a figure we may have made in the foreground, remains ever our inviolable asylum, where no indignity can assail, no personality can disturb us.


Lord our God, you accepted the single-hearted devotion of your servant Godric, who loved and served you alone. Give us also the desire to love you and serve you, and lead us through our lives to everlasting life with you; through Jesus Christ, our saviour and lord. Amen.

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


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