The First 15

Monday January 18, 2021

by David Alexander

Opening Prayer

In the busyness of our everyday lives, we often fail to prepare our hearts and minds for reading God’s word and experience God in this time. Take a moment to allow this prayer to lead you into your time with God today.

As I enter into this time of prayer and reflection, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God.
Holy and loving God, in this new season I invite you to shape my soul with your words and inspire my life with your works. Teach me to walk in the way of peace and grace. AMEN.

*This prayer adapted from Lectio365, a mobile application developed by the 24-7 Prayer Network. To find out more about this resource, visit this link.

Scripture Reading

Hebrews 12:1-3

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.


It’s impossible to remember the work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. without thinking of the dream he shared from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on an August day in 1963. We remember his vision of an America that might one day be and that it was by facing the nightmares of a broken world that Dr. King worked towards his dream of a better world. 

We all stand on the shoulders of the giants who came before us but these words from Hebrews remind us that gratitude for our forebearers in the faith should always lead to our increased commitment to the fulfillment of their unfinished dreams. 

At the beginning of an important week in our nation and on this holiday dedicated to an American hero and a hero of the Christian faith, let us pause to pray for justice. Let us pray for peace, for healing and reconciliation. Let us pray for the realization of Dr. King’s dream of God’s kingdom coming here on earth as it is in heaven.

Closing Prayer

I want to invite you to close your time today with the Prayer of St. Francis. 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring love.

Where there is offence, let me bring pardon.

Where there is discord, let me bring union.

Where there is error, let me bring truth.

Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.

Where there is despair, let me bring hope.

Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.

Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.

O Master, let me not seek as much

to be consoled as to console,

to be understood as to understand,

to be loved as to love,

for it is in giving that one receives,

it is in self-forgetting that one finds,

it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,

it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.


The First 15

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