Giving Thanks for a Committed Life

Giving Thanks for a Committed Life:

A Prayer by Martin Luther King

O God, our heavenly Father, we thank thee for this golden privilege to worship thee, the only true God of the universe. We come to thee today grateful that thou hast kept us through the long night of the past and ushered us into the challenge of the present and the bright hope of the future. We are mindful, O God, that man cannot save himself, for man is not the measure of things and humanity is not God.

Bound by our chains of sin and finiteness, we know we need a savior. We thank thee, O God, for the spiritual nature of man. We are in nature but we live above nature. Help us never to let anyone or any condition pull us so low as to cause us to hate. Give us the strength to love our enemies and do good to those who despitefully use us and persecute us.

We thank thee for thy Church, founded upon the 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 thee. Then, finally, help us to realize that man 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 of God’s children — Black, White, Red, and Yellow — will rejoice in one common band of humanity in the kingdom of our Lord and of our God, we pray.

Amen.

Via Harold A. Carter’s Prayer Tradition of Black People (1985)

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A Prayer for People in Public Office

May Those generations whose faces we cannot yet see, whose names we may never know, say of us here that we led our beloved land into a new century with the American Dream alive for all her children; with the American promise of a more perfect union a reality for all her people; with America’s bright flame of freedom spreading throughout all the world. From the height of this place and the summit of this century, let us go forth. May God strengthen our hands for the good work ahead–and always, always, bless our America.

Bill Clinton, Second Inaugural address, January 20, 1997

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton

Twenty-Third Psalm

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside still waters;
He restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil;
for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff–they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalms 23: 1-6

7 Days of Prayer

SUNDAY

A Heart Free From Pride

MONDAY

Prayer for Expressing Gratitude

TUESDAY

Prayer for Strength

WEDNESDAY

A Prayer for My Wife

THURSDAY

Prayer for a Worthy Family

FRIDAY

Praise to the Father

SATURDAY

The General Thanksgiving

Prayer for Strength

Heavenly Father,

In this time of need, strengthen me. You are my strength and my shield; You are my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

I know, Father, that Your eyes go to and fro throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts long for You. The body grows weary, but my hope is in You to renew my strength.

I do not fear, for You are with me.

I am not dismayed or overwhelmed, for You are my God.

I know You will strengthen me and help me; that You will uphold me with Your righteous hand. Even as the shadows of illness cover me, I feel the comfort of Your strength, Oh Lord.

Amen.

The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we thine unworthy servants
do give thee most humble and hearty thanks
for all thy goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all men.
We bless thee for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for thine inestimable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we beseech thee,
give us that due sense of all thy mercies,
that our hearts may be unfaignedly thankful;
and that we show forth thy praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to thy service,
and by walking before thee
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with thee and the Holy Spirit,
be all honor and glory, world without end.

Amen.

A Beautiful Prayer by St. Augustine

I beg of You, my God,

let me know You and love You so that I may be happy in You.

And though I cannot do this fully in this life, yet let me improve from day to day till I may do so to the full.

Let me know You more and more in this life, that I may know You perfectly in heaven.

Let me know You more and more here, so that I may love you perfectly there,

so that my joy may be great in itself here, and complete in heaven with You.

O Truthful God, let me receive the happiness of heaven which You promise so that my joy may be full.

In the meantime,

let my mind think of it,

let my tongue talk of it,

let my heart long for it,

let my mouth speak of it,

let my soul hunger after it,

let my flesh thirst after it,

let my whole being desire it,

until such time as I may enter through death into the joy of my Lord,
there to continue forever, world without end.

Amen.