Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

* Dag Hammarskjöld *


Almighty God, who has caused the light of eternal life to shine upon the world, we beseech you that our hearts may be so kindled with heavenly desires, and your love so shed abroad in us by your Holy Spirit, that we may continually seek the things which are above; and, abiding in purity of heart and mind, may at length attain unto your everlasting kingdom, there to dwell in the glorious light of your presence, world without end. Amen.


O deal with your servant according to your faithful love.

Your word is a lantern to my feet
and a light upon my path.
I have sworn and will fulfil it,
to keep your righteous judgements.

I am troubled above measure;
give me life, O Lord, according to your word.
My soul is ever in my hand,
yet I do not forget your law.

Your testimonies have I claimed
as my heritage for ever;
for they are the very joy of my heart.
I have applied my heart
to fulfil your statutes:
always, even to the end.

You are my hiding place and my shield
and my hope is in your word.
Sustain me according to your promise,
that I may live,
and let me not be disappointed in my hope.
Hold me up and I shall be saved,
and my delight shall be ever in your statutes.

I have done what is just and right;
O give me not over to my oppressors.
Stand surety for your servant's good;
let not the proud oppress me.

My eyes fail with watching for your salvation
and for your righteous promise.
O deal with your servant
according to your faithful love
and teach me your statutes.
I am your servant;
O grant me understanding,
that I may know your testimonies.

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.

O deal with your servant according to your faithful love.

O God, save us from ourselves,
from double standards
and divided hearts,
and give us light and life
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Dag Hammarskjöld, on the road to holiness

Dag Hammarskjöld was a Swedish diplomat, economist, and author. The second secretary-general of the United Nations, he served from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash on this day in 1961. At the age of forty-seven years, two hundred and fifty-five days, Hammarskjöld is the youngest to have held the post. He is one of just three people to be awarded a posthumous Nobel Prize. Hammarskjöld is the only U.N. secretary-general to die in office; his death occurred en route to cease-fire negotiations. American president John F. Kennedy called Hammarskjöld "the greatest statesman of our century".

Hammarskjöld began his term by establishing his own secretariat of four thousand administrators and setting up regulations that defined their responsibilities. He was also actively engaged in smaller projects relating to the UN working environment. For example, he planned and supervised in every detail the creation of a "meditation room" in the UN headquarters. This is a place dedicated to silence where people can withdraw into themselves, regardless of their faith, creed, or religion.

During his term, Hammarskjöld tried to smooth relations between Israel and the Arab states. Other highlights include a 1955 visit to China to negotiate release of fifteen captured US pilots who had served in the Korean War, the 1956 establishment of the United Nations Emergency Force, and his intervention in the 1956 Suez Crisis. He is given credit by some historians for allowing participation of the Vatican within the United Nations that year. In 1960 he made four trips to the Congo in an attempt to defuse tensions there.

He was a man of deep inner spirituality, familiar with medieval mystics, yet steeped in political activism. After his untimely death, he left behind a book of notes called “Markings.” It was described by one theologian as "the noblest self-disclosure of spiritual struggle and triumph, perhaps the greatest testament of personal faith written in the heat of professional life and amidst the most exacting responsibilities for world peace and order."


"In our age, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action."

“God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.”

Scripture. In "Psalm Ninety-Four," in verses fourteen and fifteen, we read:

"For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage; for justice will return to the righteous, and all the upright of heart will follow it.”


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... that we may allow our faith to inform our actions and for the desire to turn our dysfunctional world into the perfect kingdom of God.

... for all who work for the United Nations.

... for clean drinking water for everybody and for those working to make this happen. DETAILS

... for those who live in the path of Hurricane Maria DETAILS and for those killed or injured by powerful storm in western Romania. DETAILS

... for the welfare of all animals in transit. 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 "Markings" by Dag Hammarskjöld:

When you have reached the point where you no longer expect a response, you will at last be able to give in such a way that the other is able to receive, and be grateful. When Love has matured and, through a dissolution of the self into light, become a radiance, then shall the Lover be liberated from dependence upon the Beloved, and the Beloved also be made perfect by being liberated from the Lover.


Almighty God, kindle within the hearts of the leaders of this world a yearning for peace with justice as you did within your servant Dag Hammarskjöld and, following his good example, ever guide our feet into the way of peace; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord 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.


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