photo of Dr. King by Marion S. Trikosko
O God, our heavenly Father,
we thank thee for this golden privilege to worship thee,
the only 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 to do good to those who despitefully use us and persecute us.
We thank thee for thy Church, founded upon thy Word,
that challenges us to do more than sing and pray,
but to go out and work as though the very answer to our prayers
depend 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 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.
Martin Luther King, Jr., 1929 -1968, American pastor and civil rights activist
But to you who are listening I say:
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also.
If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.
Give to everyone who asks you,
and if anyone takes what belongs to you,
do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
One thought on “pastoral prayer of Martin Luther King, Jr”
Powerful and insightful prayer born out of a deep understanding of God and if human nature. Have you ever read his biography, Parting the Waters? It’s been on my self for a couple years unread. A close friend who reads voraciously said it’s the most impactful biography he’s ever read. I need to get it done.