Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

* Anna Julia Haywood Cooper, Elizabeth Evelyn Wright *


Let us, with a gladsome mind,
praise the Lord, for he is kind:
for his mercies shall endure,
ever faithful, ever sure. Amen.

( John Milton )


The fast, as taught by holy lore, we keep in solemn course once more;
the fast to all men known, and bound in forty days of yearly round.

The law and seers that were of old in diverse ways this Lent foretold
which Christ, all seasons’ king and guide, in after ages sanctified.

More sparing, therefore, let us make the words we speak, the food we take,
our sleep and mirth, and closer barred be every sense in holy guard.

In prayer together let us fall and cry for mercy, one and all,
and weep before the Judge’s feet and his avenging wrath entreat.

Your grace have we offended sore, by sins, O God, which we deplore;
but pour upon us from on high, O pardoning One, your clemency.

Remember Lord, though frail we be, that yet your handiwork are we;
nor let the honour of your name be by another put to shame.

Forgive the sin that we have wrought; increase the good that we have sought;
that we at length, our wanderings over, may please you here and evermore.

We pray you, Holy Trinity, one God, unchanging unity,
that we from this our abstinence may reap the fruits of penitence.

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 churches. 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 PhD degree, granted from the Sorbonne when she was sixty-five years old. From 1930 to 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 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 of 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.


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.

... that all children may have access to education and be treated equally.

... for teachers, in particular for those who work in areas where the provision of education is challenging.

... for ethnic minority students in further education, that they may not face prejudice at their place of learning or from the wider community in which they are living.

... for those travelling in adverse weather conditions.

... for the Christians of Aceh in Indonesia, and all Christians living under Sharia law. DETAILS

...  for victims of superstition, bigotry and abuse that hides behind the guise of Christianity.

... for an end to the ignorance surrounding mental illness.

... for children and young adults who are bullied because of their appearance.

... 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 “A Slip of the Tongue” by C. S. Lewis:

For it is not so much of our time and so much of our attention that God demands; it is not even all our time and all our attention; it is ourselves.

For each of us the Baptist’s words are true: “He must increase and I decrease.”

He will be infinitely merciful to our repeated failures; I know no promise that he will accept a deliberate compromise. For he has, in the last resort, nothing to give us but himself; and he can give that only insofar as our self-affirming will retires and makes room for him in our souls. Let us make up our minds to it; there will be nothing “of our own” left over to live on, no “ordinary” life.

I do not mean that each of us will necessarily be called to be a martyr or even an ascetic. That’s as may be. For some (nobody knows which) the Christian life will include much leisure, many occupations we naturally like. But these will be received from God’s hands. In a perfect Christian, they would be as much part of his “religion,” his “service,” as his hardest duties, and his feasts would be as Christian as his fasts.

What cannot be admitted, what must exist only as an undefeated but daily resisted enemy, is the idea of something that is “our own,” some area in which we are to be “out of school,” on which God has no claim. For he claims all because he is love and must bless. He cannot bless us unless he has us. When we try to keep within us an area that is our own, we try to keep an area of death. Therefore, in love, he claims all. There’s no bargaining with him.


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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