Prayer for the church from Martin Luther King Jr.
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.
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What Had happened at Grace this week.
All of a sudden, a messenger of the Lord comes to Mary saying she is highly favored. At first she is agitated at the experience, just like her older cousin Zechariah was. However, when Zechariah’s experience with the angel ended, he was left in forced speechlessness, but Mary leaves with her voice. What was the difference? Perhaps it was one simple mindful stance, “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
He has worked his whole life for this one moment. He will be doing the sacrifice and will be blessing the people! However, when God shows up, Zachariah is left speechless, literally. Perhaps God is doing something different that no one expected.
Sometimes our life is filled with chaos all around us. The holiday season shows us this well: Party after party, hand out after hand out, all the traveling, the cooking and gift wrapping. This season is supposed to be a joy-filled time; however, with everything going on we often feel overwhelmed. God’s people were feeling overwhelmed in their situation, and God told them like he tells us: give thanks for everything you have.
Today God’s act of grace to us is that, though he was rich, yet for your sake, he became poor, so that you, by his poverty, might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9
Faith is a gift of God, not something a person can be reasoned into