Originally posted on Christian Praise and Worship in Sermons and Songs:
Polycarp (Bishop of Smyrna, AD 69–155) was denounced to the government, arrested, and tried on the charge of being a Christian. When the proconsul urged him to save his life by cursing Christ, he replied: “Eighty-six years I have served him, and he never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” The magistrate was reluctant to kill a gentle old man, but he had no choice.
Polycarp was sentenced to be burned. As he waited for the fire to be lighted, he prayed:
“Lord God Almighty, Father of your blessed and beloved child Jesus Christ, through whom we have received knowledge of you, God of angels and hosts and all creation, and of the whole race of the upright who live in your presence: I bless you that you have thought me worthy of this day and hour, to be numbered among the martyrs…
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