The Daily Prayer
THURSDAY, July 30, 2020
William Wilberforce (1759—1833)
William Wilberforce, an evangelical Christian in eighteenth-century England, dedicated his life to abolishing slavery. In 1780, Wilberforce was elected to Parliament. After an experience of spiritual rebirth, Wilberforce began to see his life’s purpose: to use his political life in the service of God. He believed that there was no evil greater than the institution of slavery. “Let the consequences be what they would,” he wrote. “I from this time determined that I would never rest until I had effected its abolition.” In 1798, he began his campaign: speaking, circulating flyers and petitions, and introducing bills in Parliament. In 1806, Wilberforce managed to get a bill in Parliament passed that prohibited slavery in all British colonies. By the time Wilberforce died in 1833, Parliament had finally passed a bill that would free all slaves throughout the British Empire.
A few words from William Wilberforce: “Never, never will we desist till we have wiped away this scandal that is slavery from the load of guilt under which we at present labor, and until we have extinguished every trace of this bloody traffic which our posterity will scarcely believe had been suffered to exist so long, a disgrace and dishonor to our country.”
Stir our hearts that we might have the holy boldness to struggle for justice until we die. Give us visions larger than those we create for ourselves. And root us in humility, Lord, that we might climb toward your heights through service. Amen.