“Give us grace, O God, to dare to do the deed that we all know cries to be done.
Let us not hesitate because of ease,
or the words of men’s mouths,
or our own lives.
Mighty causes are calling us –
the freeing of women and men,
the training of children,
the putting down of hate and murder and poverty – all these and more.
But they call with voices that mean work and sacrifices
and death to our own will and way.
Mercifully grant us, O God, the spirit of Esther, that we say:
I will go unto the King and if I perish, I perish.
The prayer of our souls this day is a petition for persistence;
not for the one good deed, or single thought,
but deed on deed, and thought on thought,
until day calling unto day shall make a life worth living.
We want these young people to grow the grim grit of a people
who would never believe they’re beaten and would never own defeat;
May they snatch success and victory out of the teeth of failure
by keeping everlastingly at work, never giving up.
Give us, O God, to walk with the One who never turned His back
but marched breast forward,
never doubting that the clouds would break.
From “Prayers for a Dark People”