Clara Ann Thompson (1869–1949) was born in Rossmoyne Ohio. She was the daughter of parents, both born in Virginia, who escaped slavery. Thompson was a poet and lecturer who drew her strength from her Christian faith. She was member of the Baptist church, the NAACP, and the YWCA, and devoted most of her time to her literary work, giving public readings of what came to be known by some as “race-related poetry.” She gave voice to the freedom struggle and its intersection with every day faith. I encourage you to learn more about her life here.
Here is a beautiful prayer she wrote in 1908 called, “Storm-Beaten.”
Weary, worn, and sorrow-laden
Jesus, I have come to Thee;
Shield me from the darts of Satan;
Set my fettered spirit free.
Hearken to my plea for guidance,
As I kneel before Thy throne;
Cheer me with Thy Holy Presence,
When I feel I’m all alone.
Struggling with the cares that press me,
Falling, when I fain would stand,
Thou alone, canst guide and keep me,
Take, oh take my trembling hand!
Pity Thou my many failings!
Strengthen Thou my falt’ring trust;
Keep me, ‘mid the wind’s loud wailing
Thou, the Pitiful and Just!