A Moment to Pray on MLK

On a rainy Saturday in August, I made my way to the corner of Dr. Martin Luther King Dr. and Kingshighway in St. Louis to join in prayer with others with the same King and dream, both for our city and beyond.

Pray on MLK was coordinated by Civil Righteousness to happen in multiple cities on the same day. August 8 was chosen for having been the first date on which a street was named for the civil rights activist in Chicago back in 1968.

At 6:01 p.m. local time, groups gathered on MLK streets to enter into a time of silent prayer and lament. This start time was chosen as the same moment the shot rang out in Memphis that took Dr. King's life, the very time we heard the bell toll in April 2018.

As we formed this silent wall of prayer in St. Louis, we again used white tape on our mouths with one or two words written to express the prayers of our hearts. On this occasion I was prompted to focus on "LOVE," lamenting the lack of love for neighbor all around us now being expressed daily in ways ranging from harsh words to outright rage to increasing crime. I know we will not see love for neighbor unless our city knows the love of God in Jesus. For this I prayed.

At 7:01 p.m., we gathered for a time of hopeful proclamation and worship. In St. Louis, this time, along with a pre-rally I was unable to attend, took place at Fountain Park, which also houses a statue of MLK. It was an encouraging time seeing the people of God from many churches across our region worship our one true King Jesus together, looking to Him alone for the justice and reconciliation we so desire.

I am increasingly thankful for opportunities to join in peaceful gatherings such as this one. With the recent loss of leaders such as John Lewis and C.T. Vivian, I've heard concerns expressed that the nonviolent ideology around civil rights, to which MLK so strongly held, might also be lost. But in light of events like this, I see the Lord raising up new leaders seeking to right the wrongs of our past and present through prayer and persistence by the power of Jesus, who is the Prince of Peace. Even as we line streets and visibly show the world a different way, we stand with the thought not merely to get the attention of man or their honks of approval, but to bring our frustrations and desires to God Himself. We are encouraged by His Spirit to act in our communities by loving and serving our neighbors in creative ways, often being used in answer to our own prayers to build up the people and places around us.

I hope you'll join us in prayer for God's power to reach into our cities through His Church as we ask our one, true King to bring His change to a hurting world.

 Logos used by permission via prayonmlk.org.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading, and for sharing your thoughts. Have a great day!