"Share the Journey" is the theme for this year's National Day of Prayer for the African-American and the African family.
Solid Grounds Ministry started this day of prayer 29 years ago, asking all of us to join in praying for our African-American and African families on the first Sunday in February as we begin the celebrations of Black History Month throughout our nation. To download the prayer and reflection for the 2018 National Day of Prayer for the African-American and African Family, go to www.solidgroundministry.com.
Theresa Williams Favor, who wrote the reflection on the theme this year, wrote, "As we journey towards holiness and slip and slide through life, God's mercy has been the safety net catching us, preventing us from the downward spirals that propel us into a grave of deathly situations and spiritual disaster. God's mercy has allowed us to spiritually ascend from some dark places and slipping corridors of our lives.
We recognize that the hands of God have led and guided us when we were broke, busted and disgusted."
She goes on to say, "We recognized, time and time again, that Jesus shows up in our lives as we travel the road to Emmaus, or when the heat in the kitchen got so hot and needed to be turned down."
This reflection reminded me of what Deacon LeRoy Gill Jr., the homilist at this year's diocesan Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration, said: "There was a time in his life when Dr. King was hearing the voice of God calling him to stand up for equality and raise the conscience of the American people. Despite angry threats, Dr. King, exhausted and afraid, appealed to God for help. It was at that moment that Dr. King experienced the divine presence of God, which gave him the courage and faith to pursue his mission."
In Dr. King's book "Stride Toward Freedom," I can see how important prayer was in King's life. His life of prayer was what kept him on his journey. Prayer got him through the constant threats and the bombing of his home. The Lord gave him the mercy and grace to continue his journey. King got his strength in knowing that the Lord was walking at his side.
Deacon Gill said, "Our path may not lead to martyrdom by an assassin's bullet, as it did for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but it does lead us to dying to our selfish ways and self-sufficiency. We all have crosses, and we will all have to pay the cost when we choose to follow God."
If we pray and work toward having a close relationship with Jesus as King did, we will be able to hear our call to ministry and not be afraid, because we know He walks with us.