Today’s prayer is an excerpt from the invocation delivered by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Billy Graham’s Evangelistic Association Crusade on New York City, July 18, 1957:
0 God, our Heavenly Father, out of Whose mind this great cosmic universe has been created, toward Whom the weary and perplexed of all generations turn for consolation and direction, we come before Thy presence this evening thanking Thee for the many blessings of life.
We come recognizing our dependence on Thee. We also come, 0 God, with an awareness: The fact that we have not always given our lives to that which is high and noble. In the midst of all of the high and noble aspects of justice, we followed injustice. We stand amid the forces of truth and yet we deliberately lie. We stand amid the compelling urgency of the Lord of Love, as exemplified in the life of Jesus Christ, and yet we live our lives so often in the dungeons of hate. For all of these sins, 0 God forgive.
And in these days of emotional tension, when the problems of the world are gigantic in extent and chaotic in detail, give us penetrating vision, broad understanding, power of endurance and abiding faith, and save us from the paralysis of crippling fear. And 0 God, we ask Thee to help us to work with renewed vigor for a warless world and for a brotherhood that transcends race or color. …
All of these things we ask, in the name of Him who taught us to pray.
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.