FEBRUARY 10, 1956
NAHUNTA, Ga.—I must mention now that February 17 is the date this year on which World Day of Prayer will be observed. The sponsor of this day in the United States is the General Department of United Church Women of the National Council of the Churches of Christ.
The purpose of the day is to unite all Christians in a bond of prayer, and this will be the 70th year of the observance in the United States. Thousands of communities will participate.
I like particularly a prayer that was written by one of our Indian chiefs, Chief Yellow Lark. It reads:
"O, Great Spirit; Whose voice I hear in the winds, and Whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me. I come before You, one of Your many children. I am small and weak. I need Your strength and wisdom.
"Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset. Make my hands respect the things You have made, my ears sharp to hear Your voice. Make me wise, so that I may know the things You have taught my people, the lesson You have hidden in every leaf and rock.
"I seek strength not to be superior to my brothers, but to be able to fight my greatest enemy—myself. Make me ever ready to come to You with clean hands and straight eyes, so when life fades as a fading sunset, my spirit may come to You without shame."
In 1955 the World Day of Prayer was observed in 134 countries, and each year the National World Day of Prayer Committee offers a service prepared by authors of one of the cooperating countries. This year the service comes from Cook Training School for Indian Christian Leaders, Phoenix, Arizona. The service begins with a call to prayer which is taken from the 50th Psalm.
"The Mighty One, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting." And it goes on to say, "He speaks to each of us and to us all. We are of many races and tribes. Yet of one world. We speak in varied tongues. But with one understanding. We pray with unfaltering hope. And to one guide and shepherd."
The World Day of Prayer certainly emphasizes the fact in the very form of its service that God is the God of all men and that all prayers are received by Him. There are different hours for observances in different parts of the world, but this is one of the ways in which we can emphasize the unity of the family of man and pray for a growth in the will to peace based on understanding and confidence in all men.