Let Wonder Have Its Way With Me

O God, your gracious Spirit
moves over the mysteries of living and dying
and is strangely present to me
in the falling leaves,
the call of wild geese,
a child's birth,
the light in a friend's eyes,
the sudden lifting of the heart,
and the deep longing which brings me to you now.
Make me aware of your presence
that wonder may have its way with me,
my passion be released,
my confidence renewed in the depths of your holiness
until, for a moment,
my longing for you be fulfilled
and I know I am really free
to share bread and intimacy,
to laugh and exchange mercy,
to be at ease in my struggles,
bold in my loving,
brave in facing down my terror,
hopeful in the rising music of your kingdom,
joyful in my living,
and graceful in my life becoming
a song of praise ever sung to you.
Ted Loder in Guerrillas of Grace, p. 85
(Read more prayers of reverence by Ted Loder)

Earth Mother, Teach Me

Earth Mother teach me of my kin,
Of Hawk, and Dove, and flower,
Of blinding sunlight, shady knoll,
Desert wind and morning showers.
Teach me every language of
The creatures that sing to me,
That I may count the cadence of
Infinite lessons in harmony.
Teach me how to honor
The Sacred Spaces of all,
Gently melding with the whole,
Answering the whippoorwill's call.
Steamy tropics to glacial ice,
To thundering ocean tides,
In every grain of desert sands,
Your beauty forever abides.
Oh, Mother of every kingdom,
Let me claim my family's love,
From the whales of the deepest oceans,
To the Winged-ones, high above.
Expand my limited vision
Until I can truly know
The missions of my Relations
And the blessings they bestow.
Jamie Sams in Life Prayers from Around the World by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon

We Vow Not to . . .

Knowing how deeply our lives intertwine,
We vow not to kill.

Knowing how deeply our lives intertwine,
We vow not to take what is not given.

Knowing how deeply our lives intertwine,
We vow not to engage in abusive

Knowing how deeply our lives intertwine,
We vow not to speak falsely or

Knowing how deeply our lives intertwine,
We vow not to harm self or others
through poisonous thought or

Knowing how deeply our lives intertwine,
We vow not to dwell on past errors.

Knowing how deeply our lives intertwine,
We vow not to speak of self separate
from others.

Knowing how deeply our lives intertwine,
We vow not to possess anything or form
of life selfishly.

Knowing how deeply our lives intertwine,
We vow not to harbor ill will toward any
plant, animal or
Human being.

Knowing how deeply our lives intertwine,
We vow not to abuse the great truth
Of the Three Great Treasures.
Stephanie Kaza in God Has No Religion by Frances Sheridan Goulart

Your Tuning Touch

When all the strings of my life will be tuned,
then at every touch of Yours
will come out the music of love.
— Rabindranath Tagore, from The Heart of God, edited by Charles E. Tuttle

Sacred Stream

May the sacred stream of amity
flow forever in my heart.
May the universe prosper,
such is my cherished desire.
May my heart sing with ecstasy,
at the sight of the virtuous,
and may my life be,
an offering at their feet.
May my heart bleed,
at the sight of the wretched,
the cruel, the irreligious,
and may tears of compassion,
flow from my eyes.
May I always be there to show,
the path to the pathless,
and the wanderers of life.
Yet if they should not hearken to me,
may I bide in patience.
May the spirit of goodwill,
enter all our hearts.
May we all sing in chorus,
the immortal song,
of human concord.
Jain Prayer in Powerful Prayers for Everyday Living by Mark Linden O'Meara

Prayer for Light

O God, give me light in my heart
And light in my tomb,
And light in my hearing and light in my sight,
And light in my feeling and light in all my body,
And light before me and light behind me,
And light on my right hand and light on my left hand,
And light above me and light beneath me.
O Lord, increase light within me,
And give me light, and illuminate me.
Ali ibn Abu Talib in God Has No Religion by Frances Sheridan Goulart

God's Uniqueness

In that which we share,
let us see the common prayer of humanity.
In that in which we differ,
let us wonder at the freedom of man.
In our unity and our differences,
let us know the uniqueness that is God.
Assembly of Rabbis of the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain in
Powerful Prayers for Everyday Living by Mark Linden O'Meara

The Tapestry of Life

Creator God,
You make all things
And weave them together in an intricate tapestry of life.
Teach us to respect the fragile balance of life and to care for the gifts of your creation.
Guide by your wisdom those who have power and authority,
That, by the decisions they make, life may be cherished
And a good and fruitful earth may continue to show your glory and sing your praises.

Almighty God,
You have called us to tend and keep the garden of your creation.
Give us wisdom and reverence for all your plants and animals
Who share this planet with us and whose lives make possible our own.
Help us to remember that they too love the sweetness of life.
And join us in giving you praise.
— The Eco-justice Working Group of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA in God Has No Religion by Frances Sheridan Goulart

A Blessing for Animals

May all my sacred
brothers and sisters
Swim, and
In Love, Peace, and Freedom.
Judy Carman in Peace to All Beings

Elephant God, forgive us

We have sinned against Thee in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved the other creatures as we do ourselves — and we do not love ourselves all that well. We have not loved the Spirit that meets us in the chickens and the cows that we eat, the horses and dogs that we train, the wolves and sea turtles whose habitats we have claimed for ourselves. We have regarded animals and earth primarily as resources for our human food, human sport, human pleasure. We have not loved the animals, the earth and water and air, as our sisters and brothers. We have not realized that God lives in each blade of grass, grain of sand, snail and ant. Amen.

We do not know how to live on this planet without killing other humans in order to protect ourselves from violence and harm. We do not know how to live on the earth without destroying other creatures, often mercilessly, for our own use — to eat, enjoy, or stay safe from whatever harm or disease we fear they may bring us. It may be that the human species is not far enough evolved to know how to live safely and peaceably on this planet with all of creation, human and other. Or perhaps such a notion reflects an unrealistic and unwarranted fantasy about where we humans are headed and what may become of us.

May the day come on earth when Christians and people of other spiritual traditions will realize that what Christians have called the Incarnation was not the birth of the Sacred simply in Jesus of Nazareth and the religious tradition generated in his memory. May we see on that day that God is, and always has been, really present throughout the whole created universe, including this planet and its many, varied species, including humans. May we see that, just as God has many human faces and not just one, so too does She/He have the faces and bodies of many creatures, not only humans. May we see that we humans and other creatures 'god' (verb) together.

In the meantime, may we find and keep our balance between an ever-deepening respect for human beings — ourselves and others — and what, for many of us, is a more recently cultivated respect for other creatures as they are in themselves, not simply as we can use them for food or pleasure. There's no question in my mind that, for reasons of both morality and health, most humans in the so-called 'developed' world should eat less meat, and in many cases none at all. Of course such questions of morality and health, which are always connected, vary in shape and size from culture to culture. The questions I am raising here about food and sport among affluent, urban citizens of the United States, Britain, and other Western nations cannot be simply 'translated' into ethical questions for people in other parts of the world.

However, while ethical questions about what food to eat, and how to raise and harvest food, vary significantly from place to place, the same cultural variance cannot apply to matters of animal cruelty or earth devastation. Certainly, the differences among religions and customs require careful and respectful acknowledgment, and attempts to transform practices of morality and health, in these and other matters, need to be home-grown insofar as possible. But in the end, it is simply the case that we humans, whoever and wherever we are, share a moral obligation and opportunity to do something on behalf of the well-being of other humans and of our animal and earth partners. Cruelty, wherever it occurs, is never right or permissible among those who are striving to live in God, the Sacred Spirit of mutuality.

Elephant God, forgive us.
Holy mountain, shelter us.
Sister spirit stream, carry us on.
Tiny sparrow, sing to us
your favourite hymn.
Pelican brother Jesus,
cover us with your wings.
Bid us goodnight
and raise us in the morning
in your christic power
to recreate the world.
— Carter Heyward in Keep Your Courage

Water Prayer

Please bless those people who help keep our water flowing and clean, and bless those without clean water and those who experience draughts or floods — too little or too much water. And help me to remember you the next time I turn on the faucet or drinking fountain or climb into the shower of the tub.
Kathleen Finley in Savoring God

Pilgrim of the Hours

O Pilgrim of the Hours
Reverence each hour
as a small stepping stone
on your pilgrimage
through the day.
Macrina Wiederkehr in Seven Sacred Pauses

God of Beauty

God of beauty,
— May we love the clarity of air and water which grants us light.

God of beauty,
— May we love the fire and chill of hot and cold which grant us energy.

God of beauty,
— May we love the life of herb and animal which grants us life.

God of beauty,
— May we love the great age of stone and soil which grants us our high evolution.

God of beauty,
— May we love the organization of matter which grants us all knowledge and wonder.

God of beauty,
— This night belongs to you.

God of eternal beauty,
— May we behold you forever!

— Daniel McGill in Forty Nights

May God Come

For the city that has no beauty
— May the light of God come and enter

For the living things that cry in suffering
— May the song of God come and enter

For the systems that are cruel and uncaring
— May the taste of God come and enter

For the airs that are polluted and deadly
— May the scent of God come and enter

For the lands and waters that are bruised and broken
— May the touch of God come and enter

For all of these, all I call to mind, and for myself
— May the life of God come and enter

— Daniel McGill in Forty Nights

Blessing for Responsibility

May God bless us not with clean air alone,
— But the will to keep our air clean.

May God bless us not with a vision of a healthy planet alone,
— But with the will to do all in our power to restore and maintain our planet's health.

May God bless us not with a change of heart in the great world leaders alone to save our planet,
— But with a change in our own heart to use our own power to save the planet.

May the blessing of God not bring to us saints alone,
— But make of us saints greater than any we imagine.

— Daniel McGill in Forty Nights

10 Mantras

Compassion is a verb
— Thich Nhat Hahn

Dive deep!
— Ramakrishna

Be grateful to everyone.
— Chogyam Trungpa

Take it easy-go slowly.
— Tibetan Saying

I am a love song.
— Joyce Rupp

Every day is a good day.
— Zen saying

Accustom your tongue to say: I don't know.
— The Talmud

Say little and do much.
— Ethics of the Fathers

Read more prayers of reverence...