Dr. King’s prayer at the opening of Billy Graham’s 1957 New York revival is a masterful example of the prophetic irony found often in the First Testament Writings.
Reverend Graham’s revival was not the first call for White Christian repentance that day.
You can watch the video below to hear the full prayer.
“Let us pray, O God, Our Heavenly Father, out of whose mind this great cosmic universe has been created, toward whom the weary and perplexed of all generations turn for conslation and direction, we come before Thy presence…thanking Thee for the many blessings of life. We come recognizing our dependence on Thee.
We also come, O God, with an awareness. The fact that we have not always given our lives to that which is high and noble. In the midst of all the high and noble aspects of justice, we followed injustice. We stand amid the forces of truth and yet we deliberately lie. We stand amid the compelling urgency of the Lord of Love, as exemplified in the life of Jesus Christ, and yet we live our lives so often in the dungeons of hate. For all these sins, O God, forgive.
And in these days of emotional tension, when the problems of the world are gigantic in extent and chaotic in detail, give us penetrating vision, broad understanding, power of endurance and abiding faith, and save us from the paralysis of crippling fear…”
—Thou, Dear God: Prayers That Open Hearts and Spirits. Lewis Baldwin, ed. Spoken at Billy Graham’s New York crusade