Prayer, Plain and Simple

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today we remember the birthday of a great American, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We will hear a great deal about the man and his mission over the next hours. And so we should. But I have noticed a strange neglect in our observances: we seem to forget that King was first a Baptist pastor whose convictions and courage for the cause of civil rights stemmed from his faith, and commitment to the Bible.

The God of the Bible is a God of justice, who stands with the poor and oppressed. Faith not politics drove King’s passion. He saw his strategy of non-violent resistance as a way to honor Jesus in the face of injustice. Wouldn’t it be fitting to make prayer as much a part of this day of honor as speeches and rallies?

King was a man of faith and a man of prayer. Today, as we celebrate the advances our society has made against the blight of racism, and as we also recognize the distance we must still travel to become a fully just and good society, it’s fitting to offer a prayer for justice alongside with our commitment to work for justice. For God along can heal the rifts in our nation. Today, in honor of Martin Luther King, we fall on our knees and again ask God for his grace…

“God, our world needs justice. We acknowledge that all true goodness must come from you. We must obey and act, but you give the convictions and courage and strength to bring about the true changes needed. Today we thank you for the life of Martin Luther King Jr. We ask for your blessing in the cause he championed, the drive for racial justice in America. We thank you for progress already achieved, and we ask you to help us finish the work. Today, bring a new spirit of peace in our nation. And may your Kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”    

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