Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. A holiday in the United States means a day off from school and work for many of us. It often includes a service project or event to remember King’s call to equality and justice.
When I was reflecting on Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s legacy and writings I found “Thou, Dear God”: Prayers That Open Hearts and Spirits.
I thought what a beautiful way for us to mark the day, by praying his prayers today, especially since his words are as important and timely now as they have ever been.
O 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 thy will. In the name and spirit of Jesus we pray.
“Thou, Dear God”: Prayers That Open Hearts and Spirits, The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., edited by Lewis V. Baldwin (Beacon Press, 2014)