A Prayer in Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here is a prayer from the United Methodist Church Book of Worship in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr:

We remember the conviction of Martin Luther King, Jr., that
“freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor;
it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

Therefore, let us pray

for courage and determination by those who are oppressed….

We remember Martin’s warning that
“a negative peace which is the absence of tension”
is less than “a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”

Therefore, let us pray
that those who work for peace in our world may cry out first for justice….

We remember Martin’s insight that
“injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality
tied in a single garment of destiny.
Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”

Therefore, let us pray that we may see nothing in isolation,
but may know ourselves bound to one another
and to all people under heaven….

We remember Martin’s lament that
“the contemporary church is often a weak, ineffectual voice
with an uncertain sound.

It is so often the arch supporter of the status quo.

Far from being disturbed by the presence of the Church,
the power structure of the average community is consoled
by the Church’s silent and often vocal sanction of things as they are.”

Therefore, let us pray
that neither this congregation nor any congregation of Christ’s people
may be silent in the face of wrong,
but that we may be disturbers of the status quo
when that is God’s call to us….

We remember Martin’s
“hope that dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away
and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted
from our fear drenched communities
and in some not too distant tomorrow
the radiant stars of love and brotherhood
will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”

Therefore, in faith, let us commend ourselves and our work for justice
to the goodness of almighty God.

(QUOTATIONS FROM “LETTER FROM THE BIRMINGHAM CITY JAIL” BY MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR)

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