Learning from the prayers of other countries

January 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Perspectives

Christians have written and shared their prayers for thousands of years, and reading the prayers of brothers and sisters from other parts of the world can help us understand their experience and see God in new ways. Here are just a few.

O thou great Chief, light a candle in my heart, that I may see what is therein, and sweep the rubbish from thy dwelling place.

–An African schoolgirl’s prayer

O Supreme Eternal Reality, Pure Being beyond all subject and object, beyond all cerebral thinking, Unconceptualizable and Unverbalizable, dwelling in silence, I long to experience the nameless, incomprehensible being, as Moses did at the Burning Bush, burning and never consumed, a higher consciousness, before which I can only bow in silence and reverence, glimpsing indescribable suchness and eternal mystery.


O Christ, you are continually worshipped in heaven and on earth, in all times and at all hours; you are patience, compassion and mercy; you love the righteous, you have mercy on sinners, and you call all men to salvation, promising them all things to come: receive our prayer, this day at noon, and make our life conform to your will; sanctify our souls and our bodies, order our thoughts, and give us victory in all trials and sadness; protect us and bless us, so that we may come to unity of faith and knowledge of your glory, for you live and reign, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God now and forever.

–Mid-day Office, Taize Community in France

Lord, today you made us known to friends we did not know, and you have given us seats in homes which are not our own. You have brought the distant near, and made a brother of a stranger. Forgive us Lord….we did not introduce you.