Litanies & Prayers

Faithful Witness

The testimony of Scripture and of Martin Luther King Jr.

Peace through nonviolent means is neither absurd nor unattainable. All other methods have failed. Thus we must begin anew.

Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. And the effect of righteousness will be peace. . . .” —Isaiah 32:16-17

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.

Do not be overcome by evil; but overcome evil with good. —Romans 12:21

Love is the more durable power in the world. . . . Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.

For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. —Romans 5:10

There are some things within our social order to which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I call upon you to be maladjusted.

Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. —Romans 12:2

Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men [and women] and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is dry-as-dust religion.

But if you have the world’s goods and see neighbors in need, yet you close your heart against them, how does God’s love abide in you? —1 John 3:17

Our world is a neighborhood. We must learn to live together as brothers [and sisters], or we will perish as fools. For I submit, nothing will be done until people put their bodies and souls into this.

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. . . . But love your enemies . . . and your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High. —Luke 6:32-33, 35

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. . . . When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

What causes wars, and what causes fightings among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members? You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. —James 4:1-2

Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter—but beautiful—struggle for a new world.

We exhort you, brothers and sisters, admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances. —1 Thessalonians 5:14-15

Let the people of god say: Amen!

Complied by Ken Sehested for the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America