Man In Maze BasketWe offer this eclectic collection of prayers for your inspiration.

  • Prayers for All
  • Buddhist Prayers
  • Native American Prayers
  • African American Prayers
  • Prayers for All

    For Unity of Faiths

    O God, we are one with you. You have made us one with you. You have taught us that if we are open to one another, you dwell in us. Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all our hearts. Help us to realize that there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection. O God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept you, and we thank you, and we adore you, and we love you with our whole being, because our being is your being, our spirit is rooted in your spirit. Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as we go our diverse ways, united in this one spirit which makes you present in the world, and which makes you witness to the ultimate reality that is love. Love has overcome. Love is victorious.

    Thomas Merton 1915-1968

    May He Who is the Father in Heaven of the Christians, Holy One of the Jews, Allah of the Muhammadans, Buddha of the Buddhists, Tao of the Chinese, Ahura Mazda of the Zoroastrians and Brahman of the Hindus lead us from the unreal to the Real, from darkness to light, from disease and death to immortality. May the All-Loving Being manifest Himself unto us, and grant us abiding understanding and all-consuming divine love. Peace, Peace. Peace be unto all.

    Swami Akhilananda, Bangladesh 1894-1962

    O Lord, grant us to love Thee; grant that we may love those that love Thee; grant that we may do the deeds that win Thy love. Make the love of Thee be dearer to us than ourselves, than our families, than wealth, and even than cool water.

    Mohammed 570-632

    Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    Where there is injury, pardon;
    Where there is doubt, faith;
    Where there is despair, hope;
    Where there is darkness, light; and
    Where there is sadness, joy.
    O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
    To be understood, as to understand;
    To be loved, as to love.
    For it is in giving that we receive---
    It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
    And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

    St. Francis of Assisi 1181-1226

    Be praised, my Lord, with all Your creatures,
    Especially Brother Sun,
    By whom You bring us the day and who brings us the light;
    Fair is he and shines with a very great splendor...
    Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Moon and the stars, which you have set clear and lovely in heaven.
    Be praised, my Lord, for Brother Wind, and for air and cloud, calms and all weather...
    Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Water, who is very useful and humble and precious and clean.
    Be praised my Lord for Brother Fire, through whom You give us light in darkness, and he is bright and pleasant and very mighty and strong.
    Be praised, my Lord, for our Sister Mother Earth, who sustains us and keep us, and brings forth fruits and flowers of many colors and leaves...
    Praise and bless my Lord, and thank Him,
    And serve Him with great humility.

    St. Francis of Assisi

    For cities and towns, factories and farms, flowers and trees, sea and sky---
    Lord we praise You for the world and its beauty.
    For family and friends, neighbors and cousins---
    Lord, we thank You for friendship and love.
    For kind hearts, smiling faces, and helping hands---
    Lord, we praise You for those who care for others.
    For commandments that teach us how to live---
    Lord, we thank You for those who help us to understand your laws.
    And for making us one family on earth, the children of One God---
    Lord we praise You, who made all people different, yet alike.

    Jewish Liturgy

    Dear God, I have no idea where I am going.
    I do not see the road ahead of me.
    I cannot know for certain where it will end.
    Nor do I really know myself...and the fact that I think that I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
    But I believe this:
    I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You.
    I hope I have that desire in everything I do.
    I hope I never persist in anything apart from that desire.
    And I know that if I do this You will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it at the time.
    Therefore I will trust You always, for though I may be lost - and in the shadow of death - I will not be afraid, because I know You will never leave me to face my troubles all alone.

    Thomas Merton

    Oh God of peace, who hast taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength:
    By the might of thy Spirit lift us, we pray thee, to thy presence, where we may be still and know that thou art God. . .

    Prayer for Quiet Confidence from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer

    Prayer for Peace

    Almighty God and Creator, you are the
    Father of all people on the earth.
    Guide, I pray all the nations and their leaders
    in the ways of justice and peace.
    Protect us from the evils of injustice,
    prejudice, exploitation, conflict and war.
    Help us to put away mistrust, bitterness and hatred.
    Teach us to cease the storing and using of implements of war.
    Lead us to find justice, peace and freedom.
    Unite us in the making and creating of the tools of peace
    against ignorance, poverty, disease and oppression.
    Grant that we may grow in harmony and friendship as brothers and sisters
    created in Your image, to Your honor and praise.


    From an Orthodox Christian prayerbook

    Eternal lover of Thy children,
    bring us into Thy life,
    make us sharers in Thy love
    and transmitters of it.
    Help us to become serene and patient
    in the midst of our frustrations,
    but at the same time
    make us heroic adventurers,
    brave, gentle, tender,
    but without fear
    and with radiant faces.

    Rufus Jones, Quaker (1863-1948)

    Peace Pilgrim's Beatitudes

    Blessed are they who give without expecting even thanks in return, for they shall be abundantly rewarded.

     Blessed are they who translate every good thing they know into action, for ever higher truths shall be revealed unto them.

     Blessed are they who do God's will without asking to see results, for great shall be their recompense.

     Blessed are they who love and trust their fellow beings, for they shall reach the good in people and receive a loving response.

     Blessed are they who have seen reality, for they know that not the garment of clay but that which activates the garment of clay is real and indestructible.

     Blessed are they who see the change we call death as a liberation from the limitation of this earth-life, for they shall rejoice with their loved ones who make the glorious transition.

     Blessed are they who after dedicating their lives and thereby receiving a blessing, have the courage and faith to surmount the difficulties of the path ahead, for they shall receive a second blessing.

     Blessed are they who advance toward the spiritual path without the selfish motive of seeking inner peace, for they shall find it.

     Blessed are they who instead of trying to batter down the gates of the kingdom of heaven approach them humbly and lovingly and purified, for they shall pass right through.

    The Light of God before me.
    The Light of God behind me.
    The Light of God above me.
    The Light of God beside me.
    The Light of God within me.

    From the Prayer of St. Patrick

    A Thanksgiving Prayer

    In the spirit of humility we give thanks for all that is.
    We thank the great spiritual beings who have shared their wisdom.
    We thank our ancestors who brought us to where we are now.
    We are grateful for the opportunity to walk this planet,
    to breathe the air,
    to taste the food,
    to experience sensations of a human body/mind,
    to share in this wonder that is life.
    We are grateful for the natural world that supports us,
    for the community of humankind that enables us to do many wonderous things.
    We are grateful that we are conscious,
    that as intelligent beings we can reflect upon the many gifts we have been given.

    Tom Barrett

    Buddhist Prayers

    By the power and the truth of this practice, may all beings have happiness, and the causes of happiness,
    May all be free from sorrow, and the causes of sorrow,
    May all never be separated from the sacred happiness which is sorrowless,
    And may all live in equanimity, without too much attachment and too much aversion,
    And live believing in the equality of all that lives.

    translated by Sogyal Rinpoche

    May all beings be filled with joy and peace.
    May all beings everywhere,
    The strong and the weak,
    The great and the small,
    The mean and the powerful,
    The short and the long,
    the subtle and the gross:

     May all beings everywhere,
    Seen and unseen,
    Dwelling far off or nearby,
    Being or waiting to become:
    May all be filled with lasting joy.

     Let no one deceive another,
    Let no one anywhere despise another,
    Let no one out of anger or resentment
    Wish suffering on anyone at all.

     Just as a mother with her own life
    Protects her child, her only child, from harm,
    So within yourself let grow
    A boundless love for all creatures.

     Let your love flow outward through the universe,
    To its height, its depth, its broad extent,
    A limitless love, without hatred or enmity.

     Then as you stand or walk,
    Sit or lie down,
    As long as you are awake,
    Strive for this with a one-pointed mind;
    Your life will bring heaven to earth.

    Sutta Nipata
    Buddha's Discourse on Good Will

    I find respite in the Buddha.

     I find respite in the Dharma.

     I find respite in the Sangha.

    At the foot of the Bodhi tree,
    beautifully seated, peaceful, and smiling,
    the living source of understanding and compassion,
    to the Buddha I go for refuge.

     The path of mindful living,
    leading to healing, joy, and enlightenment,
    the way of peace,
    to the Dharma I go for refuge.

     The loving and supportive community of practice,
    realizing harmony, awareness, and liberation,
    to the Sangha I go for refuge.

     I am aware that the Three Gems are within my heart.
    I vow to realize them.
    I vow to practice mindful breathing and smiling,
    looking deeply into things.
    I vow to understand living beings and their suffering,
    to cultivate compassion and loving kindness,
    and to practice joy and equanimity.

     I vow to offer joy to one person in the morning
    and to help relieve the grief of one person in the afternoon.
    I vow to live simply and sanely,
    content with just a few possessions,
    and to keep my body healthy.
    I vow to let go of all worry and anxiety in order to be light and free.

     I am aware that I owe so much to my parents, teachers, friends, and all beings.
    I vow to be worthy of their trust,
    to practice wholeheartedly,
    so that understanding and compassion will flower,
    and I can help living beings
    be free from their suffering.

     May the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha support my efforts.

    Thich Nhat Hanh

    A Samurai Warrior's Creed

    I have no parents--I make the heavens and earth my parents.
    I have no home--I make awareness my home.
    I have no life or death--I make the tides of breathing my life and death.
    I have no divine power--I make honesty my divine power.
    I have no means--I make understanding my means.
    I have no magic secrets--I make character my magic secret.
    I have no body--I make endurance my body.
    I have no eyes--I make the flash of lightening my eyes.
    I have no ears--I make sensibility my ears.
    I have no limbs--I make promptness my limbs.
    I have no strategy--I make "unshadowed by thought" my strategy.
    I have no designs--I make "seizing opportunity by the forelock" my design.
    I have no miracles--I make right-action my miracles.
    I have no principles--I make adaptability to all circumstances my principles.
    I have no tactics--I make emptiness and fullness my tactics.
    I have no talents--I make ready wit my talent.
    I have no friends--I make my mind my friend.
    I have no enemy--I make carelessness my enemy.
    I have no armor--I make benevolence and righteousness my armor.
    I have no castle--I make immovable-mind my castle.
    I have no sword--I make absence of self my sword.

     Anonymous Samurai, fourteenth century
    Found in The Book of Runes. Ralph H. Blum, St. Martin's Press, NY, 1993

    Native American Prayers

    Oh Great Spirit,
    Whose voice I hear in the wind,
    Whose breath gives life to the world,
    Hear me!
    I come to you as one of your many children.
    I am small and weak.
    I need your strength and wisdom.
    May I walk in beauty.
    Make my eyes behold the red and purple sunset.
    Make my hands respect the things that you have made,
    And my ears sharp to hear your voice.
    Make me wise so that I may know the things
    That you have taught your children--
    The lessons that you have hidden in every leaf and rock.
    Make me strong, not to be superior to my brothers, but to be
    able to fight my greatest enemy: myself.
    Make me ever ready to come to you with straight eyes, so that
    When life fades as the faded sunset
    My spirit will come to you without shame.

    John Yellow Lark

    Earth Teach Me to Remember

    Earth teach me stillness
    as the grasses are stilled with light.
    Earth teach me suffering
    as old stones suffer with memory.
    Earth teach me humility
    as blossoms are humble with beginning.
    Earth Teach me caring
    as the mother who secures her young.
    Earth teach me courage
    as the tree which stands alone.
    Earth teach me limitation
    as the ant which crawls on the ground.
    Earth teach me freedom
    as the eagle which soars in the sky.
    Earth teach me resignation
    as the leaves which die in the fall.
    Earth teach me regeneration
    as the seed which rises in the spring.
    Earth teach me to forget myself
    as melted snow forgets its life.
    Earth teach me to remember kindness
    as dry fields weep in the rain.

    Ute, North American

    As I walk, as I walk
    The universe is walking with me
    In beauty it walks before me
    In beauty it walks behind me
    In beauty it walks below me
    In beauty it walks above me
    Beauty is on every side
    As I walk, I walk with Beauty.

     Traditional Navajo Prayer

    Hear me, four quarters of the world-- a relative I am! Give me the strength to walk the soft earth. Give me the eyes to see and the strength to understand, that I may be like you. With your power only can I face the winds. Great Spirit...all over the earth the faces of living things are all alike. With tenderness have these come up out of the ground. Look upon these faces of children without number and with children in their arms, that they may face the winds and walk the good road to the day of quiet. This is my prayer' hear me!

     Black Elk, Sioux Indian

    The Offering of the Pipe, from Black Elk Speaks:

    Hey hey! Hey hey! Hey hey! Hey hey!
    Grandfather, Great Spirit, you have been always, and before you no one has been.
    There is no other one to pray to but you.
    You yourself, everything that you see, everything has been made by you.
    The star nations all over the universe you have finished.
    The four quarters of the earth you have finished.
    The day, and in that day, everything you have finished.
    Grandfather, Great Spirit, lean close to the earth that you may hear the voice I send.
    You towards where the sun goes down, behold me;
    Thunder Beings, behold me!
    You where the White Giant lives in power, behold me!
    You where the sun shines continually, whence come the day-break star and the day,
    behold me!
    You where the summer lives, behold me!
    You in the depths of the heavens, an eagle of power, behold me!
    And you, Mother Earth, the only Mother, you who have shown mercy to your children!
    Hear me, four quarters of the world - a relative I am!
    Give me the strength to walk the soft earth, a relative to all that is!
    Give me the eyes to see and the strength to understand, that I may be like you.
    With your power only can I face the winds.
    Great Spirit, Great Spirit, my Grandfather, all over the earth the faces of living things are all alike.
    With tenderness have these come up out of the ground.
    Look upon these faces of children without number and with children in their arms,
    that they may face the winds and walk the good road to the day of quiet.
    This is my prayer; hear me!
    The voice I have sent is weak, yet with earnestness I have sent it.
    Hear me!
    It is finished. Hetchetu aloh!
    Now, my friend, let us smoke together so that there may be only good between us.

     Black Elk Speaks, John G. Neihardt, Lincoln:Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1979.

    African American Prayers

    O God, Slow Us Down (1983)

    George Thomas

    O God, slow us down and help us to see that we are put in charge of our lives, but with Thy help. Help us to get in tune with the rhythm that makes for life.

    We keep moving, even though we know that we are made to center down, as well as to be actively engaged in the business of life. We compete for things and make those things more important than they ought to be. We eat what we ought not to eat. We neglect and misuse our bodies. We fail to discipline our minds and to be still and know that thou art God and that we are the temple of the Most High. Yet we often complain about our misfortunes and our hard luck, when at times it is we who are guilty of disregard.

    Help us to know that we can be broken by life only if we first allow the victory of evil over our spirits.

    May our hope and strength and faith be grounded in you; and may we recall the strength of our model, our brother and your Son.


     Conversations with God, Two Centuries of Prayers by African Americans, James Melvin Washington, Ph.D. New York: HarperCollins, 1994, page 249.

    A Prayer for Divine Companionship (1835)

    Maria W. Stewart

    O Lord God, as the heavens are high above the earth, so are Thy ways above our ways, and Thy thoughts above our thoughts. For wise and holy purposes best known to Thyself, Thou hast seen fit to deprive me of all earthly relatives; but when my father and mother forsook me, then Thou did take me up. I desire to thank Thee, that I am this day a living witness to testify that Thou art a God, that will ever vindicate the cause of the poor and needy, and that Thou hast always proved Thyself to be a friend and father to me. O, continue Thy loving kindness even unto the end; and when health and strength begin to decay, and I, as it were, draw nigh unto the grave, O then afford me Thy heart-cheering presence, and enable me to rely entirely upon Thee. Never leave me nor forsake me, but have mercy upon me for Thy great name's sake. And not for myself alone do I ask these blessings, but for all the poor and needy, all widows and fatherless children, for the stranger in distress; and may they call upon Thee in such manner as to be convinced that Thou art a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God; and thine shall be the praise, forever. Amen.

     Conversations with God, Two Centuries of Prayers by African Americans, James Melvin Washington, Ph.D. New York: HarperCollins, 1994, page 27.

    Doxology (1890)

    Josephine Delphine Henderson Heard

    Great God accept our gratitude,
    For the great gifts on us bestowed--
    For rainment, shelter and for food.

     Great God, our gratitude we bring,
    Accept our humble offering,
    For all the gifts on us bestowed,
    Thy name be evermore adored.

     Conversations with God, Two Centuries of Prayers by African Americans, James Melvin Washington, Ph.D. New York: HarperCollins, 1994, page 59.

    The Century Prayer (1901)

    Joseph Ephraim McGirt

    Lord God of Hosts incline thine ear
    To this, Thy humble servant's prayer:
    May war and strife and discord cease;
    This century, Lord God, give us peace!
    Henceforth, dear Lord, may we abhor
    Thought of strife, the curse of war.
    One blessing more, our store increase,
    This is our prayer, Lord, give us peace!

     May those who rule us rule with love,
    As thou dost rule the courts above;
    May man to man as brothers feel,
    Lay down their arms and quit the field;
    Change from our brows the angry looks,
    Turn swords and spears to pruning-hooks.
    One blessing more our store increase,
    This is our prayer, Lord, give us peace!

    May flags of war fore'er be furled,
    The milk white flag wave o'er the world;
    Let not a slave be heard to cry,
    Lion and lamb together lie;
    May nations meet in one accord
    Around one peaceful festive board.
    One blessing more, our store increase,
    This is our prayer, Lord, give us peace!

     Conversations with God, Two Centuries of Prayers by African Americans, James Melvin Washington, Ph.D. New York: HarperCollins, 1994, page 99.