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12 Peace Prayers

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Alan Ostmann's photo of ferns illuminated under a Blue Ridge Mountain Sunset

Prayer of St. Francis

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.
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,
It is in dying...that we are born to eternal life.

Jainist Prayer for Peace
Peace and Universal Love is the essence of the Gospel preached by
all the Enlightened Ones.
The Lord has preached that equanimity is the Dharma.
Forgive do I creatures all, and let all creatures forgive me.
Unto all have I amity, and unto none enmity.
Know that violence is the root cause of all miseries in the world.
Violence, in fact, is the knot of bondage.
    "Do not injure any living being."
This is the eternal, perennial, and unalterable way of spiritual life.
A weapon, howsoever powerful it may be,
can always be superseded by a superior one;
but no weapon can, however be superior to nonviolence and love.
Hindu Prayer for Peace

Oh God, lead us from the unreal to the Real.
Oh God, lead us from the darkness to light.
Oh God, lead us from death to immortality.
Shanti, Shanti, Shanti unto all.
Oh Lord God almighty, may there be peace
in celestial regions.
May there be peace on earth.
May the waters be appeasing.
May herbs be wholesome,
and may trees and plants bring peace to all.
May all beneficent beings brings peace to us.
May the Vedic Law propagate peace all through the world.
May all things be a source of peace to us.
And may peace itself, bestow peace on all,
and may that peace come to me also.
Native American Prayer for Peace

Happily on a trail of pollen may I walk.
Happily may I walk being as it used to be long ago may I walk.
May it be beautiful before me, may it be beautiful behind me,
May it be beautiful below me, may it be beautiful above me,
May it be beautiful before me, may it be beautiful all around me.
With grasshoppers at my feet, may I walk in beauty.
It is begun in beauty. It is continued in beauty. It is finished in beauty.
In beauty I walk.
With beauty before me I walk. With beauty behind me I walk,
With beauty above me I walk. With Beauty around me I walk.
It has become beauty again.
It has become beauty again.
It has become beauty again.
It has become beauty again.

Jewish Prayer for Peace
Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
that we may walk the paths of the Most High.
And we shall beat our swords into ploughshares,
and our spears into pruning hooks.
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation-
neither shall they learn war any more.
And none shall be afraid,
for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts has spoken.
 Baha'i Prayer for Peace
Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity.
Be fair in thy judgtment, and guarded in thy speech.
Be a lamp unto those who walk in darkness,
and a home to the stranger.
Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring.
Be a breath of life to the body of humankind,
a dew to the soil of the human heart, and a fruit upon the tree of humility.
Buddhist Prayer for Peace
by Namo-Amida-Butsu

I am a link in Amida Buddha’s Golden Chain of Love
that stretches around the world.
I must keep my link bright and strong.
I will try to be kind and gentle to every living thing,
and protect all who are weaker than myself.
I will try to think pure and beautiful thoughts, to say pure and beautiful words,
and to do pure and beautiful deeds, knowing that on what I do now depends
not only my happiness or unhappiness, but also those of others.

Sikh Prayer for Peace
God adjudges us according to our deeds, not the coat that we wear:
that Truth is above everything, but higher still is truthful living.
Know that we attaineth God when we loveth,
and only that victory endures in consequences of which no one is defeated.
Zoroastrian Prayer for Peace
We pray to God to eradicate all the misery in the world:
that understanding triumph over ignorance,
that trust triumph over contempt, and that truth triumph over falsehood.
Christian Prayer for Peace
Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be known as the Children of God.
But I say to you that hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse  you,  pray for those who abuse you.
To those who strike you on the cheek, offer the other side also
and from those who take away your cloak, do not withhold your coat as well.
Give to everyone who begs from  you.
And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
Islamic Prayer for Peace
In the name of Allah the beneficent, the merciful.
Praise be to the Lord of the Universe who has created us
and made us into tribes and nations.
That we may know each other, not that we may despise each other.
If the enemy incline toward peace,  do thou also incline towards peace,
and trust God, for the Lord is the one that heareth and knoweth all things.
And the servants of God, most Gracious are those who walk on
the Earth in humility, and when we address them, we say "PEACE".

Native African Prayer for Peace

Almighty God, the Great Thumb we cannot evade to tie any knot,
The Roaring Thunder that splits mighty trees:
The all-seeing Lord up on High who sees even the footprints
of an antelope on a rock mass here on Earth.
You are the One who does not hesitate to respond to our call.
You are the cornerstone of peace.
Shinto Prayer for Peace
Although the people living across the ocean surrounding us,
I believe, are all our brothers and sisters,
Why are there constant troubles in this world?
Why do winds and waves rise in the ocean surrounding us?
I only earnestly wish that the wind will soon puff away all the clouds
which are hanging over the tops of the mountains.
Hawaiian Teaching of Aloha
from “Tales of the Night Rainbow”
by Kaili’ohe Kame’ekua p. 19

Aloha is being a part of all and all being a part of me.
When there is pain-it is my pain.
When there is joy-it is mine also.
I respect all that is as part of the Creator and part of me.
I will not willfully harm anyone or anything.
When food is needed I will take only my need,
and explain why it is being taken.
The earth, the sky, and the sea are mine to care for,
to cherish and protect.
This is Hawaiian-this is Aloha!


    In every one of the major world religions, there are scriptures about peace. It is a common jewel that we all share. A religion is the belief in and worship of a personal God or gods who have power to affect change in our world. The different religions evolved unique systems of faith and worship, in part, based upon the culture of the region it was formed in, and the ability of the “founder” to be the messenger for that which is basically beyond thought. For example, traditionally, westerners are more outgoing than some of our Asian “cousins”. In many western religions there is much more group singing, and group participation than in the more contemplative eastern religions. Yet the purpose of religious practices is basically the same: to help people feel connected to their Creator and fellow humans, and to give a moral and ethical code to live by. We feel at peace when we are living in this way.
    An individual’s relationship to the Beloved Creator is personal. There is no need to compare one’s experience with anyone else’s. The Beloved knows each heart uniquely, and wordlessly vitalizes our beings with love. That which I experience is for me alone. Out of love for others I might want to share it, in hopes that they can feel the healing peace of the loving connection, but truly, I can only encourage others to experience it for themselves. God meets us at our level of understanding, willingness, and love. We must still our minds and relax our bodies to experience this love, although God is loving us all the time.
    In our modern times, different factions of different religions have begun to wage mental if not actual war on others. People fear what they don’t understand. Yet in all the major religions peace is a priority, and prayers for peace are written in their scriptures. Mediators call similarities of interest “common ground”. When common ground between two parties is discovered, an agreement can be crafted. The peace prayers are common ground we can begin to build understanding and respect from.
    Over ten years ago I read James Twyman’s book, Emissary of Light. A group that called themselves “The Peace Seeds” had researched peace prayers in 12 of the major world religions, and gave them to James, and they were written in his book. I was thrilled to discover them! I retyped them in an attractive font, framed them, and hung them over and on both sides of the doorway to our Lodge at Spirit Haven near Asheville, NC. I printed up little booklets on parchment-style paper, bound them with a golden ribbon, and sent them out in Christmas Cards one year.
    When I moved to Kaua’i I remade the booklets. I also joined the Interfaith Round-table of Kaua’i. Each year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we celebrate the wonderful diversity of our island and Dr. King’s dream of peace. The brothers at the Hindu Monastery made beautiful banners with edited version of the peace prayers, each religion’s icon, and its version of the Golden Rule. The banners are hung for all to read.
    A Native American, and Buddhist in the Interfaith Roundtable offered me what they thought were better prayers for their religions, so I am using their selections. I have also added a Hawaiian teaching of Aloha. Living Aloha is living in peace. 
    I offer these Peace Prayers with full expectation that people will see the common ground in all the religions, and that respect will replace misunderstanding among the different religions. At our Sunday Circle at Spirit Haven, we would occasionally read all of the Peace Prayers. There is power in the words, and we were all affected by their beauty, simplicity and power. Enjoy them. Share them. Peace to you

The Forgiveness Movement, headed by Tom and Linda Carpenter is an organization that chooses to recognize people as their spiritual selves, which are always peaceful.

The northeast side of the Pali Coast at almost sunset on Kaua'i.


One of Alan's pictures of sunset on a Florida coast.
Alan's magical Florida sunrise.

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