Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

* Frederick Douglass *


Glorious Lord, I give you greeting!
Let the church and the chancel praise you.
Let the plain and the hillside praise you.
Let the dark and the daylight praise you.
Let the birds and the honeybees praise you.
Let the shorn stems and the shoots praise you.
Let the male and the female praise you.
Let the seven days and the stars praise you.
Let the air and the ether praise you.
Let the books and the letters praise you.
Let the fish in the swift streams praise you.
Let the thought and action praise you.
Let the sand-grains and the earth-clods praise you.
And I shall praise you, Lord of glory:
glorious Lord, I give you greeting! Amen.


As oft, with worn and weary feet, we tread earth’s rugged valley o’er,
the thought, how comforting and sweet: Christ trod this very path before!
Our wants and weaknesses he knows, from life’s first dawning to its close.

Does sickness, feebleness or pain or sorrow in our path appear?
The recollection will remain, more deeply did he suffer here:
his life, how truly sad and brief, filled up with suffering and with grief.

If Satan tempt our hearts to stray and whisper evil things within,
so did he, in the desert way, assail our Lord with thoughts of sin,
when worn and in a feeble hour the tempter came with all his power.

Just such as I, this earth he trod, with every human ill but sin;
and though indeed the very God, as I am now so he has been.
my God, my Saviour, look on me, with pity, love and sympathy.

( James Edmeston )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Frederick Douglass: “forever unfit to be a slave”

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Frederick Douglass, American abolitionist and servant of Christ.

Douglass was born into slavery in Talbot County, Maryland in 1818. His mother died when he was a little boy and at age eight he was sold to the Auld Family. Mrs. Auld began to teach Frederick to read, as she was teaching her own son, but her husband put a stop to it, claiming “it would forever unfit him to be a slave.” Nevertheless Frederick continued to learn to read from other white children, and by reading the writing of those for whom he worked. Douglass was a ravenous reader. By reading he became convinced of the evil of slavery, and all his life he was an advocate for equal education for all children.

At the age of fourteen he experienced a conversion to Christ while attending the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He loved the rich history of spiritual song.

Later he remarked “Those songs still follow me, to deepen my hatred of slavery, and quicken my sympathies for my brethren in bonds.”

At age twenty he escaped from his owners and headed north to Massachusetts. He joined a church and began to be associated with the abolitionist movement. He had formidable oratorical skills to match his passion for reading, and soon he was becoming well-known as a speaker against slavery. He produced some regular abolitionist newspapers, including "The North Star." In 1845 he published an autobiography, which was well-read and helped to expose the brutalities of slavery to new audiences.

Legally, however, he was still considered a runaway slave. The more renowned he became, the more he had to worry about recapture. In 1845 he went to England on a speaking tour. His friends in America raised enough money to buy out his master’s legal claim to him so that he could return to the United States in safety.

In 1848, Douglass attended the first women's rights convention, the Seneca Falls Convention, as the only African American. Elizabeth Cady Stanton asked the assembly to pass a resolution asking for women's suffrage. Many of those present opposed the idea, but Douglass stood and spoke eloquently in favour; he said that he could not accept the right to vote himself as a black man if woman could not also claim that right. His powerful words rang true with enough attendees that the resolution passed.

By the time of the Civil War, Douglass was one of the most famous black men in the country. He died on this day in 1895.

Scripture. In the second chapter of "Hebrews," at verses ten and eleven we read:

It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.


Let us now call to mind our sin and the infinite mercy of God.

God the Father, have mercy upon us.
God the Son, have mercy upon us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy upon us.
Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, have mercy upon us.

From all evil and mischief; from pride, vanity, and hypocrisy;
from envy, hatred, and malice; and from all evil intent,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sloth, worldliness and love of money;
from hardness of heart and contempt for your word and your laws,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sins of body and mind;
from the deceits of the world, the flesh and the devil,
good Lord, deliver us.

In all times of sorrow; in all times of joy;
in the hour of death, and at the day of judgement,
good Lord, deliver us.

By the mystery of your holy incarnation;
by your birth, childhood and obedience;
by your baptism, fasting and temptation,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your ministry in word and work;
by your mighty acts of power;
and by your preaching of the kingdom,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your agony and trial;
by your cross and passion;
and by your precious death and burial,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your mighty resurrection;
by your glorious ascension;
and by your sending of the Holy Spirit,
good Lord, deliver us.

Give us true repentance; forgive us our sins of negligence and ignorance and our deliberate sins; and grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit to amend our lives according to your holy word.

Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal, have mercy upon us.
Make our hearts clean, O God; and renew a right spirit within us.

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for an end to slavery and forced labour whatever form they take.

... for racial and gender equality throughout the world and for those who are campaigning for it.

... for the ending of all social inequality and injustice in our world. DETAILS

... for civilians killed or injured when Syrian government forces bombarded the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area outside Damascus. DETAILS

... for those in the path of ex-cyclone Gita and all affected by adverse weather conditions at this time. DETAILS

... for those killed or injured when a rubbish dump collapsed in the Mozambique's capital, Maputo; for all whose poverty forces them to live and scavenge among the garbage dumps of the world. DETAILS

... 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 "My Opposition to War" by Frederick Douglass:

I am opposed to war, because I am a believer in Christianity. I am opposed to war, because I am a lover of my race. The first gleam of Christian truth that beamed upon my dark mind, after having escaped the clutches of those who held me in slavery, was accompanied by the spirit of love. I felt at that moment as if I were embracing the whole world in the arms of love and affection. I could not have injured one hair of the head of my worst enemy, although that enemy might have been at that very time imbruing his hands in the blood of a brother or a sister. I believe all who have experienced this love, who are living in the enjoyment of this love, feel this same spirit, this same abhorrence of injuring a single individual, no matter what his conduct happens to be.

I believe, if there is one thing more than another that has brought a reproach upon the Christian religion, it is the spirit of war. Why, a little while ago, in the Congress of the United States, a member arose and proposed the appropriation of a large sum to the support of the chaplaincy in the navy. Our Congress is made up of various materials; among the number there is an infidel, the son of Robert Owen. That infidel, Mr. Owen, rose in his place at once, and opposed the proposition to support the chaplaincy; and on what ground, do you suppose? He did it, he said, on patriotic grounds.

He was opposed to the introduction of the Scriptures in the navy, for, he said, "If the principles of Christianity, if the doctrines inculcated in the New Testament are carried out in the lives of our soldiers, they would do the very opposite to that for which we enlist them in the service. Instead of shooting their enemies, they would love them; instead of butchering them, they would bind up their wounds; instead of blowing them into atoms, they would seek to preserve their lives."

He added, "I am utterly and unequivocally opposed to any support being given to the chaplaincy. They would preach the doctrines of the New Testament."

What a stain, what a blot: an infidel rising up and rebuking ministers claiming to be ministers of the God of love; rebuking them for their delinquency, and preaching a higher Christianity than those to whom he has been accustomed to look.


Almighty God, we bless you for the witness of Frederick Douglass, whose impassioned and reasonable speech moved the hearts of a president and a people to a deeper obedience to Christ. Strengthen us also to be outspoken on behalf of all victims of injustice; 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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