Prayer For Martin Luther King Day
O God our eternal Father, we praise thee for gifts of mind with which thou hast endowed us. We are able to rise out of the half-realities of the sense world to a world of ideal beauty and eternal truth. Teach us, we pray Thee, how to use this great gift of reason and imagination so that it shall not be a curse but a blessing. Grant us visions that shall lift us [strikeout illegible] from worldiness and sin into the light of thine own holy presence. Through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
We thank you for your church, founded upon your Word, that challenges us to do more than sing and pray, but go out and work as though the very answer to our prayers depended on us and not upon you. Help us to realize that humanity was created to shine like the stars and live on through all eternity. Keep us, we pray, in perfect peace. Help us to walk together, pray together, sing together, and live together until that day when all God's children -- Black, White, Red, Brown and Yellow -- will rejoice in one common band of humanity in the reign of our Lord and of our God, we pray. Amen.
God, we thank you for the inspiration of Jesus. Grant that we will love you with all our hearts, souls, and minds, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves, even our enemy neighbors. And we ask you, God, in these days of emotional tension, when the problems of the world are gigantic in extent and chaotic in detail, to be with us in our going out and our coming in, in our rising up and in our lying down, in our moments of joy and in our moments of sorrow, until the day when there shall be no sunset and no dawn. Amen.
O God, we thank you for the fact that you have inspired men and women in all nations and in all cultures. We call you different names: some call you Allah; some call you Elohim; some call you Jehovah; some call you Brahma; some call you the Unmoved Mover. But we know that these are all names for one and the same God. Grant that we will follow you and become so committed to your way and your kingdom that we will be able to establish in our lives and in this world a brother and sisterhood, that we will be able to establish here a kingdom of understanding, where men and women will live together as brothers and sisters and respect the dignity and worth of every human being. In the name and spirit of Jesus. Amen.
Thou Eternal God, out of whose absolute power and infinite intelligence the whole universe has come into being, we humbly confess that we have not loved thee with our hearts, souls and minds, and we have not loved our neighbors as Christ loved us. We have all too often lived by our own selfish impulses rather than by the life of sacrificial love as revealed by Christ. We often give in order to receive. We love our friends and hate our enemies. We go the first mile but dare not travel the second. We forgive but dare not forget. And so as we look within ourselves, we are confronted with the appalling fact that the history of our lives is the history of an eternal revolt against you. But thou, O God, have mercy upon us. Forgive us for what we could have been but failed to be. Give us the intelligence to know your will. Give us the courage to do your will. Give us the devotion to love your will. In the name and spirit of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Let us pray.
Lord our God, see how oppression and violence are our sad inheritance, one generation to the next.
We look for you where the lowly are raised up, where the mighty are brought down.
We find you there in your servants, and we give you thanks this day for your preacher and witness, Martin Luther King Jr.
Fill us with your spirit: where our human community is divided by racism, torn by repression, saddened by fear and ignorance, may we give ourselves to your work of healing.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.
Lord God, You led your chosen people from slavery in Egypt to the freedom of the Promised Land.
We ask you to lead us, this Notre Dame community, from any enslavement to hatred, ignorance, fear, racism, injustice or anything else that prevents us from being the community of love and respect that you want us to be.
We remember with gratitude today the witness of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and we ask that we have the courage and determination to follow his example in battling injustice and living the Gospel of love.
Help us, Lord, to make ever more the community you want us to be.
Grant all this through Christ our Lord,
Holy God. Today, we remember Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s struggle for equality, justice, and dignity for African Americans that inspired so many other reform movements that seek to highlight the plight of the oppressed in society.
We pray that all of those in civil and religious authority be reminded that we all have been created in your image, and that there is an intrinsic dignity in each of us that calls for uplifting every man and woman, young and old.
We pray that your Holy Spirit remind us all that you show no partiality with regards to nationality, race, ethnicity, or gender, and to do so is to go against your great commandment of love toward one another.
We pray that the church will not be complicit of injustice by being silent, but that it can rise up with a prophetic voice that speaks truth to power and advances the values of your Kingdom.
We pray these things in the name of our blessed redeemer, Jesus Christ. Amen.