God of justice and mercy, we ask your blessing upon those trapped by the world’s sin
For those who live in the terror of war …
Place peace in the hearts of those carrying out violence
For those who live shackled and trafficked …
Grow mercy in the hearts of those who hold them captive
For those who bear the weight of poverty …
Create generosity in the hearts of those who can help bear the weight
For those whose life and livelihood are affected by our changing climate …
Place prudence in the hearts of those in positions of power
For those who continue to be pushed to the margins of society – the elderly, immigrants, addicted …
Grow compassion in the hearts of those who might welcome them into its center
And for all of us, grant the strength to continue working for justice in this world and the faith to believe in the justice of the world yet to come.
Chasusa.org Feb 2016
What is the connection between walking and meditation, walking and prayer? Meditation and prayer require our mind, souls, and bodies to work together in order to bear fruit. Walking requires that our eyes and ears be open.
In The Long Loneliness, Dorothy describes her time living on Statin Island. She says, “I found myself praying, praying with thanksgiving, praying with open eyes while I watched the workers on the beach and the sunset, and listened to the sound of the waves and the scream of snowy gulls.”
“We can train ourselves to walk with reverence. Wherever we walk, whether it’s the railway station or the supermarket, we are walking on the earth and so we are in a holy sanctuary. If we remember to walk like that, we can be nourished and find solidity with each step.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, “Shambhala Sun”, August 6, 2012
Lessons from Standing Rock
“We certainly need to pray for courage these days. ‘Dear God, please deliver me from the fear of my enemies.’” Dorothy Day 1970
Why talk about such inconsequential subjects as prayer in the time of hatred and irrationality? We don’t have time for that.
The Standing Rock Water Protectors called on prayer as their foundation to protect their lands and our waters. People responded to their prayer: indigenous people from Hawaii, Australia, Canada, Congo, the Arctic, the Caribbean. Not only indigenous people,people of all backgrounds responded.
And government forces attacked. Again and again and again.
This is not the first time prayer had been attacked by government forces:
Aaron Mair recounts the government reaction to the Sioux Ghost Dance 1890. He relates that
The ‘Ghost Dance’ (Nanissáanah), a religious and spiritual resistance of prayer and dance was practiced by the Sioux Nation in 1890 to enlist the spirits of the dead to fight on their behalf, to make the white colonists leave, and to bring peace, prosperity, and unity to Native peoples throughout the region. Alarmed by the Ghost Dance, the United States government and local authorities sent in thousands of troops to violently put down this peaceful protest and sought the arrest Sitting Bull, who was believed to be one of the spiritual resistance leaders. The unarmed Sitting Bull was shot and killed when the attempt was made to arrest him.
Sierra Club 2016
Judge the power of prayer by the reaction it gets from the powerful.