Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s



Father, we praise you for your miracle of love by which you used the death of Jesus on the cross to set us free. The place of death has become the place of victory; in the humiliation of one man we are confronted by your glory; where life was lost we find eternal life. Amen.

( Alan Gaunt )


Lo! now the time accepted peals its tidings of release;
a time that with salvation heals and to repentant tears reveals
the mercy seat of peace.

Then let us wisely now restrain our food, our drink, our sleep;
from idle word and jest refrain and steadfastly begin again
a stricter watch to keep.

Now heaven-taught love will haste to rise and seek the cheerless bed
where cold and wan the sufferer lies, and Christ himself to heedful eyes
is hungering for bread.

It is now that zealous charity her goods more largely spends,
lays up her treasure in the sky and freely yields, before death draws nigh,
to God the wealth he lends.

Then consecrate us, Lord, anew, and fire our hearts with love;
that all we think, and all we do, within, without, be pure and true,
rekindled from above.

Now fuller praise and glory be to you, the first and last,
and make us, blessèd Trinity, more faithful soldiers, who worthy be
through this our chastening fast.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

James Theodore Holly: bringing the Church to Haiti

James Theodore Holly was the first African-American bishop in the Episcopal Church and Bishop of Haiti. He has an interesting history.

He was born in 1829 in Washington, DC, the descendant of freed slaves. His great-great-grandfather was a Scotsman in Maryland, a slave owner, who freed his slaves in 1772, including his son and namesake James Theodore Holly. This son married the daughter of an Irish Catholic whose last name was Butler, and they were the great-grandparents of Bishop James Theodore Holly.

Holly was baptised and raised a Roman Catholic yet gradually he moved away from the Roman Catholic Church. He spent his early years in Washington, D. C. and Brooklyn, NY, where he connected with Frederick Douglass and other black abolitionists. He was active in anti-slavery conventions in the free states, participating in abolitionist activities.

Bishop Holly left the Roman Catholic Church over a dispute about ordaining local black clergy and joined the Episcopal Church in 1852. He was a shoemaker, then a teacher and school principal before his own ordination at the age of twenty-seven. He served as rector at Saint Luke’s Church in New Haven, Connecticut

In 1861 he left the United States with his family and a group of African-Americans to settle in Haiti, the world’s first black republic. In July 1863 Holly organised the Holy Trinity Church. He lost his family and other settlers to disease and poor living conditions but was successful in establishing schools and building the Church. He trained young priests and started congregations and medical programs in the countryside.

In 1874 he was ordained bishop at Grace Church, New York City, not by the mainstream Episcopal Church, who refused to ordain a black missionary bishop, but by the American Church Missionary Society, an Evangelical Episcopal branch of the Church. He was named Bishop of the Anglican Orthodox Episcopal Church of Haiti. Bishop Holly was also given charge of the Episcopal Church in the Dominican Republic from 1897-1911. He died in Haiti in on the thirteenth of March, 1911.

Scripture. In the fourth chapter of "John," at verses thirty-four to thirty-five we read:

Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say, 'Four months more, then comes the harvest?' But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting."


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 evangelists and church planters.

... for those hindered from pursuing their God-given vocation in life because of the prejudices inherent in much of the Church.

... for victims of domestic abuse.

... 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 “Mere Christianity" by C. S. Lewis:

And now, what does it all matter? It matters more than anything else in the world. The whole dance, or drama, or pattern of this three-personal life is to be played out in each one of us: or (putting it the other way round) each one of us has got to enter that pattern, take his place in that dance. There is no other way to the happiness for which we were made. Good things as well as bad, you know, are caught by a kind of infection. If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them. They are not a sort of prize which God could, if he chose, just hand out to anyone. They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very centre of reality. If you are close to it, the spray will wet you: if you are not, you will remain dry. Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever? Once a man is separated from God, what can he do but wither and die?


Most gracious God, by the calling of your servant James Theodore Holly you gave us an outstanding shepherd for your flock, who brought the Gospel and the Church to the people of Haiti. Grant that, inspired by his testimony, we may overcome our prejudice and honour those whom you call from every family, language, people, and nation; through 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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