Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Dear Lord, help us to worship you in truth and holiness. In our devotion, give us understanding to know that we are all brothers and sisters, created in your image to serve you faithfully. And perceiving this insight, may we be willing to share your message of reconciliation with our neighbors. We praise you, O God, for Martin Luther King, Jr, and all your servants who, having finished their course, challenge us to remain steadfast in our quest for justice, equality and freedom. May Dr King's dream be our dream and may peace prevail among all people of the world. Amen.**
Lord, we rejoice that as a nation we have been singularly blessed. On this day of remembrance, we thank you for people with vision. In particular we are grateful for Martin Luther King, Jr, who had a magnificent dream and with courage pursued it. He reminded us that our "greatest defense...is to take affirmative action on behalf of justice, for a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Help us, Lord, to be zealous instruments of your justice and to follow Martin Luther King's example by working for peace among all people. Bless our efforts to serve you by helping us to live in harmony as your children. Amen.**
Almighty God, we thank you for the diversity of races and cultures in this world, for it is our differences that enrich life and make it exciting. Bless us through ever-widening circles of fellowship and increase our knowledge of you that our love for others might grow. In the words of St Francis, "Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is discord, union;... Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand." Help us to mature in your grace so that we will be more loving and understanding of one another. This we pray in the name of our Lord. Amen.**
Gracious Father, today we honor Martin Luther King, Jr, whom you brought to a holy mountain, to whom you gave a vision, and who gave his life in proclaiming your word. You told us through him that we must love the oppressor as well as the oppressed; that if we claim to love even one person, we must love all; that to love one another unto death is the way of holiness. Inspire us all by his example that we too may ascend the mountain; that we too may see a vision; that we too may be your faithful servants and help bring about the kingdom of the Lord on earth--a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace. May we now be inspired by the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr, and follow his example by reaching out to others. Amen.**
O Lord, we assemble here today to remember and honor a great American, a man of vision and hope. May the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr, become the dream of all people, a dream of peace, love and harmony, drawing the nations of the world together in cooperative balance. May his life of courage and pursuit of justice serve to inspire each of us to live more in conformity to your will. Amen.**
Our Lord, as we gather for this ceremony, we thank you for the life and legacy of the Rev Martin Luther King. We thank you for his dream, for his words of freedom, equality, and justice, and for a vision that all of your children can climb the mountain of noble destiny. Bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies, and strengthen our resolve to live, speak, and act in such a way that our achievements will be worthy of the best within each of us, and our freedom will be seen not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to please to do what is right. This we pray in our Lord's name. Amen.**
Dear Heavenly Father, creator of all mankind, we thank you that you are not a discriminator between races of mankind. We thank you that you do not withhold your sovereign grace from those who, in the eyes of some, may not possess the socially acceptable credentials. We especially thank you today for the courage and faith of one man, Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, who remained faithful to your principles of justice and righteousness and called our nation back to you. We pray that today our memory of this great man will be more than an epitaph; but a call to all of us to dedicate our energies to the freedom of all people of all races and classes. May we, too, stand against the prejudice and bigotry of those who would build their own self interest on the ashes of the basic human needs of others. May we be a constant reminder to others that all peoples everywhere have been created in your image and, therefore, are worthy of dignity and respect. To the end that our brothers and sisters throughout this land might always be free. We pray in your most gracious name. Amen.
Our God and Father of creation, allow us your enabling presence during this eventful occasion. We are truly thankful for all you have done for us through your special agents of love. As we reflect upon the memory of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, consider our thoughts of concern as we plead for your continued blessings of compassion and mercy. Though as a people we have done some correcting of man’s inhumanity to man, the task for which Dr King gave his life continues to haunt us. Give us that love of humanity that allows the sensitivity necessary to continue this fight for human dignity. Energize us with your overcoming power forever. Amen.
Let us pray. Dear Lord the Father of us all, we thank you for the opportunity we have today to celebrate the life and memory of your servant, Martin Luther King, Jr. We thank you for people from every generation who have been willing to live by their principles not only when it was the popular thing to do, but also when it became unpopular and life threatening. We thank you for the dream that Dr King had, a dream that because of our sinfulness we regret has yet to be fully realized, but thankfully is still in the slow process of fulfillment. We pray that one day, the time may come when it will not matter what the color of a person’s skin, the language spoken, the place of birth, the manner or worship or lack of it, social status or material wealth or poverty, but that we may be able to live together as brothers and sisters. This morning help us to inventory our own prejudices and fears, and seek to eliminate those which are improper. Help us to examine our own principles, our own personal values and determine our willingness to hold fast to them. May we consider being dreamers of better times and life styles, not for the sake of noble rousing, but for the sake of humanity. We pray in your holy name. Amen.
Almighty God, we praise you for sending us a man of peace who resisted tyranny, a man of nonviolence who fought for liberty, a man of God who worked for people. Thank you, Lord, for Martin Luther King, Jr, who inspired us with his dream, who walked into our lives and our hearts with marches for justice, who demanded freedom with great courage in the face of great danger, and who passed on into your promised land. Thank you for his noble legacy to continue the journey to that land here on earth, in life for all people. Thank you, Lord for Martin Luther King, Jr. Great God and Father of us all, destroy prejudice that turns us against our brothers and sisters. Teach us that we are all the children of your love, whether we are black or red or white or yellow. Encourage us to live together and love one another in peace as did our brother Martin Luther King, Jr. Thank you, Lord, for Martin Luther King, Jr. Change us from the ignorance that nourishes injustice and from the indifference that causes hearts to break. Help us to demonstrate your love beyond caste and color. We pray for the spirit of love to help us work religiously for peace and true brotherhood. Help us to break away from our selfishness and lead us to freedom. Give us power to make changes and peace to mend broken spirits. We remember and we thank you for your servant, Martin Luther King, Jr. Grant that we may not rest until all peoples of this great land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the name of our Heavenly Father. Amen.
God our Father, we give you thanks for allowing one of your servants to suffer so that freedom bells will ring in the heart, soul, and mind of people everywhere. We pray for the King family that your provide them a blessed assurance, to know that their loved one’s death was not in vain. Help us to hold on to the spirit of faith, hope, and love. In your great name we pray. Amen.
Creator God, Master and sustainer of all life. Today we worship you in our gathering as we honor a great leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. On this holiday we are reminded of marches, boycotts and sit-ins. We are also reminded that many gave their lives so that all people could enjoy the freedoms of this great country. O God our Father, thank you for making this day a reality. Thank you for building within our spiritual and moral fiber a thirst and hunger to confront social injustices and institutional wrong doings. We praise you God for allowing this day to point towards an even higher tomorrow. We praise you for being in complete control of our past, present and future. And we adore you for allowing us to help make this world a better place for all people everywhere. May we follow the leading of your Spirit forever. Amen.
May thy spirit go forth as a right wind smashing down all the barriers to brotherhood and all the enemies of thy divine love. Oh Lord, grant unto us the vision to see each other as you see us. To complement each other, to love and help each other and to fulfill your purpose for the kingdom. Open, O Lord, the eyes of our understanding to the past that we may see right the present hour and the future. Help us to establish a city whose builder and maker is God, whose light of liberty and beacon of brotherhood shines to the whole world forever. O God, only your plan will work. Help us to truly be your people. In they name we ask it. Amen.
Almighty God, as you have drawn us together in honor of your prophets, send us forth to settle the Promised Land that they saw from the mountaintop but were not allowed to enter. Give us, as you gave them, tough minds and tender hearts, that we too might become apostles of nonviolence in a land of violence, champions of justice in a society of injustice, and heralds of peace in a world of conflict. Amen.6
Divine Creator, who did fashion man in your own image and who also made him of one blood with his fellows, on this day we remember the birthday of your servant, Martin Luther King, Jr. He struggled throughout his life and finally suffered martyrdom in the cause of making brotherhood a reality. We in the military have known and experienced the common humanity of man in times of great stress, danger, need and crisis in our lives. Then, our largely artificial barriers of class, of creed, or color gave way to the divinely implanted impulse to protect and defend each other, to share with our fellows the crust of bread, the cup of water, and the word of reassurance. Hasten the day when elemental brotherhood will be the continuous order of the day rather than seen only in times of catastrophe and disaster. To this end, bless all that is said and done in this Memorial Service today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Our Heavenly Father we thank you for the contribution of Dr King and all those who follow in his steps. We thank you for the beauty of their uniqueness, the vitality of their faith, the nobility of their sacrifice, and the inspiration of their accomplishments. We thank thee for their contribution to the American way of life, their love of freedom, their eternal hope, unfolding dream and their unshakable and undying faith. Help us, God, to be aware of your presence within all people of faith. Open our hearts to the divine influence, eliminate our prejudice and hardness of heart. Amen.
Our Father in Heaven, you surround our daily life with familiar things and well-know faces. You not only instruct us, but also command us to love others as much as we love ourselves. We pray you will help us to remove all that divides us from one another. Teach us what it means to truly love one another in deed, and not by word alone. Teach us to practice kindness instead of hindrance, love instead of hate, helpfulness instead of destruction. Use us to give life meaning and purpose and hope, instead of trampling down, crushing under and destroying that life. Our Father, we are grateful for the man whose birthday we remember today. Accept our thanks for giving us, even for a little while, Martin Luther King, Jr. Help us to practice what he lived and died for. May the world be a better place because he lived. Through Christ, our Lord, we pray. Amen.
Almighty God, we acknowledge your presence during this national birthday in honor of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, for his non-violent approach to love, freedom and justice for all humanity. We ask that you will continue to guide and lead us through your wisdom and knowledge. Thank you for your eternal understanding and mercy when we fail in our benevolence toward one another. May we remember the dream of Dr King as we continue to interact with one another in society. Amen.
A day to celebrate the life and dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. A day to reaffirm the American ideals of freedom, justice, and opportunity for all. A day for love not hate, for understanding not anger, for peace not war. A day for the family: to share together, to reach out to relatives and friends, and to mend broken relationships. A day when the community rids itself of the barriers which divide it and comes together as one. A day when people of all races, religions, classes and stations in life put aside their differences and join in the spirit of togetherness. A day for our nation to pay tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr, who awakened in us the best qualities of the American spirit. A day for nations of the world to cease all violent actions, seek non-violent solutions, and demonstrate that peace is not just a dream but a real possibility. If only for a day, if for only one day, each of us serves as a “Drum Major for Justice and Peace,” then we will bring to life the inspiring vision of freedom which Martin Luther King, Jr dreamed. And when this happens, and we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up the day when all God’s children “... will be able to join hands and sing... ‘Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last’.”
Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, we thank you for creating within us a hunger and thirst for liberty, and justice. Forgive us when we selfishly are only concerned about our rights and not freedom and justice for all. Today as we honor the life of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, we thank you for one of your children who had a dream, who saw the vision of Protestant, Catholic and Jews, whites and blacks, people of all races, creeds and colors living out that dream. May we too dream a little today Lord, of the possibilities of life in a nation and a world under God, with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness under the influence of your Holy Spirit. As Dr. King takes his place in our history as one of America’s spiritual fathers and heroes, may we humbly take our place at the front in the continuing struggle for liberty and justice for all. Bless this food and may our bodies and souls be nurtured today to serve and glorify your Holy name through loving and serving our neighbor. Amen.