This paperback is the first compilation of prayers by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In the foreword, Dr. Lewis Baldwin is quoted as saying: "King spoke of prayer as the sacred heart of faith, as the foundation of devotional life, as an essential component of prophetic social witness, and as a vital ingredient in the overall effort to free, humanize, and empower humanity."
Baldwin has selected 68 of King's prayers and organized them into six sections:
- Prayers for Spiritual Guidance
- Prayers for Special Occasions
- Prayers in Times of Adversity
- Prayers for Strength in Times of Trial
- Prayers for Uncertain Times
- Prayers for Social Justice
The closing section of the book brings together King's favorite prayers from scripture and Christian sources. Baldwin believes that readers of these heartfelt devotional and prophetic yearnings will discover the spiritual depths of King's social activism. In one of the shortest prayers, this ardent African-American pastor asks:
"Lord, teach me to unselfishly serve humanity."
King's prayers in times of adversity offer comfort and inspiration. In this one, he asks for courage and strength:
"Lord, I am here taking a stand for what I believe is right. But now I am afraid. The people are looking to me for leadership, and if I stand before them without strength and courage, they too will falter. I am at the end of my powers. I have nothing left. I've come to the point where I can't face it alone."
Then there is this prayer:
"Oh Lord, give us strength of body to keep walking for freedom (Let us pray) that God shall give us strength to remain nonviolent though we may face death."
Be sure to read the prayer about hope in the excerpt taken from King's sermon "Paul's Letter to American Christians," the prayer following his sermon "Loving your enemies", and his vision of a global beloved community.