This self-instruction in the form of a mantra is based on Jesus' words in Luke 6:36.

Breathing in: Be compassionate . . .
Breathing out: as God is compassionate.

Other Prayers

A Prayer for Compassionate Eyes, Ears, and Heart
O Lord, open my eyes
that I may see the need of others,
open my ears that I may hear their cries,
open my heart so that they need not be without succour.
Let me not be afraid to defend the weak
because of the anger of the strong,
nor afraid to defend the poor
because of the anger of the rich.
Show me where love and hope and faith are needed,
and use me to bring them to these places.
Open my eyes and ears that I may, this coming day,
be able to do some work of peace for thee.
Alan Paton in Acceptable Words by Gary Schmidt, Elizabeth Stickney

Eat as Well
When we sit down to eat, let us give thanks from our hearts, praying that the day comes soon when everyone will eat as well as we will, today and tomorrow. Amen.
Donna Schaper in Prayers for People Who Say They Can't Pray
by Donna Schaper

Evening News
A prayer or verse can be created even for watching television, says Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh: "Watching the evening news, I know it is my story. Breathing in calmly, I hold us all in compassion."
Thich Nhat Hanh in After the Ecstasy, The Laundry by Jack Kornfield

May I Be
May I be a protector to those without protection,
A leader for those who journey,
And a boat, a bridge, a passage
For those desiring the further shore.
May the pain of every living creature
Be completely cleared away.
May I be the doctor and the medicine
And may I be the nurse
For all sick beings in the world
Until everyone is healed.
Just like space
And the great elements such as earth,
May I always support the life
Of all the boundless creatures.
And until they pass away from pain
May I also be the source of life
For all the realms of varied beings
That reach unto the ends of space.
Shantideva in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche

Remembering Compassion
O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry.
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless.
When I have a home,
help me to remember those
who have no home at all.
When I am without pain.
help me to remember those who suffer.
And remembering.
help me to destroy my complacency.
Bestir my compassion.
and be concerned enough to help.
By word and deed,
those who cry out
for what we take for granted.
Assembly of Rabbis of the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain in Powerful Prayers for Everyday Living by Mark Linden O'Meara

May the God of justice and mercy unite us in compassionate solidarity with all those in need, that our lives may be just and merciful, and a source of blessing to many. Amen.
Marchiene Vroon Rienstra in A Forgiving Heart by Lyn Klug, editor

The Most Marginalized
Foxes have dens and birds have nests but I have nowhere to lay my head. Matthew 8:20
Jesus walked the earth as a homeless vagrant and identified his disciples by their concern for the most marginalized people in the community. It's such a simple criterion and yet one so easily forgotten.
Daily Prayer: Help me to be especially attentive to You today in those who have so little of the world's wealth.
Ron Miller in Wisdom of the Carpenter

Toward All
As we recall the compassion
shown us by our parents,
so may we dedicate ourselves
to turning that compassion
toward all the inhabitants of the earth.
Unknown in Essential Spirituality by Roger Walsh

Unlimited Love
Dear God,
As you draw me ever deeper into your heart,
I discover that my companions on the journey are women and men
loved by you as fully and as intimately as I am.
In your compassionate heart,
there is a place for all of them.
No one is excluded.
Give me a share in your compassion, dear God,
so that your unlimited love may become visible
in the way I love my brothers and sisters.
Henri J. M. Nouwen in With Open Hands by Henry J. M. Nouwen

We Pray This Day
O God, we pray this day:
for all who have a song they cannot sing,
for all who have a burden they cannot bear,
for all who live in chains they cannot break,
for all who wander homeless and cannot return,
for those who are sick and for those who tend them,
for those who wait for loved ones
and wait in vain,
for those who live in hunger
and for those will not share their bread,
for those who are misunderstood
and for those who misunderstand,
for those who are captives and for those who are captors,
for those whose words of love are locked within their hearts
and for those who yearn to hear those words.
Have mercy upon these, O God,
Have mercy upon us all.
Ann Weems in Secrets of Prayer: A Multifaith Guide to Creating Personal Prayer in Your Life by Nancy Corcoran

We Pray for Children
We pray for children
who sneak popsicles before supper,
who erase holes in math workbooks,
who can never find their shoes.
And we pray for those
who stare at photographers from behind
barbed wire,
who can't bound down the street in a new
pair of sneakers,
who never "counted potatoes,"
who are born in places we wouldn't be
caught dead,
who never go to the circus,
who live in an X-rated world.
We pray for children
who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of
who hug us in a hurry and forget their
lunch money.
And we pray for those
who never get dessert,
who have no safe blanket to drag behind
who watch their parents watch them die,
who can't find any bread to steal,
who don't have any rooms to clean up,
whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser,
whose monsters are real.
We pray for children
who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
who throw tantrums in the grocery store
and pick at their food,
who like ghost stories,
who shove dirty clothes under the bed, and
never rinse out the tub,
who get visits from the tooth fairy,
who don't like to be kissed in front of the
who squirm in church or temple and scream
in the phone,
whose tears we sometimes laugh at and
whose smiles can make us cry.
And we pray for those
whose nightmares come in the daytime,
who will eat anything,
who have never seen a dentist,
who aren't spoiled by anybody,
who go to bed hungry and cry themselves
to sleep
who live and move, but have no being.
We pray for children who want to be carried
and for those who must,
for those we never give up on and for those
who don't get a second chance.
For those we smother . . . and for those who will grab
the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.
Ina J. Hughs in A Grateful Heart: Daily Blessings for the Evening Meal from Buddha to the Beatles by M. J. Ryan