I have always admired Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor who worked for the resistance against Adolph Hitler and was executed in April 1945 for his participation in the plot to assassinate Hitler. He reminds me of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when they stood up to the religious tyranny of King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3. Written in prison, Bonhoeffer’s prayer could have been their prayer. It certainly can be ours.
O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray
And to concentrate my thoughts on you;
I cannot do this alone
In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
But you know the way for me.
O heavenly Father
I praise and thank you
For the peace of the night;
I praise and thank you for this new day;
I praise and thank you for all the goodness
and faithfulness throughout my life.
You have granted me many blessings;
Now let me also accept what is hard
from your hand.
You will lay on me no more
than I can bear.
You make all things work together for good
for your children.
Lord Jesus Christ,
You were poor
and in distress, a captive and forsaken as I am.
You know all man’s troubles;
You abide with me
when all men fail me;
It is your will that I should know you
and turn to you.
Lord, I hear your call and follow;
I remember in your presence all my loved ones,
my fellow-prisoners, and all who in this house
preform their hard service;
Lord have mercy.
Restore me to liberty,
and enable me so to live now
that I may answer before you and before men.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised. AMEN.
(Letter and Papers from Prison, 1971, p. 139)
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