A Slave Woman’s Prayer

Julia Williams Wadsworth, ex-slave via Flicker

O Lord, bless my master.
When he calls upon thee to damn his soul,
do not hear him, do not hear him,
but hear me – save him – make him know he is wicked,
and he will pray to thee.

I am afraid, O Lord,
I have wished him bad wishes in my heart
– keep me from wishing him bad –
though he whips me and beats me sore,
tell me of my sins, and make me pray more to thee –
make me more glad for what thou hast done for me,
a poor Negro.

reported by Stephen Hays in 1816


You have heard that it was said,
      ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
   that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good,
   and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous


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