Some of Our Favorite Prayers

Prayer for World Peace
By Sr. Joan D. Chittister, OSB

Great God, who has told us "vengeance is mind," save us from ourselves, save us from the vengeance in our hearts and the acid in our souls.

Save us from our desire to hurt as we have been hurt, to punish as we have been punished, to terrorize as we have been terrorized.

Give us the strength it takes to listen rather than to judge, to trust rather than to fear, to try again and again to make peace even when peace eludes us.

We ask, O God, for the grace to be our best selves.
We ask for the vision to be builders of the human community rather than its destroyers.
We ask for the humility as a people to understand the fears and hopes of other peoples.
We ask for the love it takes to bequeath to the children of the world to come more than the failures of our own making.
We ask for the heart it takes to care for all peoples.

Give us the depth of soul, O God, to constrain our might, to resist the temptations of power, to refuse to attack the attackable, to understand that vengeance begets violence, and to bring PEACE, not war wherever we go.

For you, O God, have been merciful to us.
For you, O God have been patient with us.
For you, O God have been gracious to us.

This we ask through Jesus, the one without vengeance in his heart.
We ask forever and ever. Amen

Morning prayer for peace
from World Council of Churches

God of life
in the early light of this new day
I want to treasure the opportunity you give me
    to wake up enveloped in your peace.
I know that today I will face many different situations.
The world, unfortunately, has not changed much
    since last night, which you prepared for me to rest.
But knowing that your peace accompanies life encourages me.

Son of Peace,
today, make of me an announcer of your peace,
    which breaks down hatred, egotism, abuse, lies, intolerance,
    which ends the conflicts between peoples,
      families and persons,
    which reconciles all human beings with God,
    with themselves, and with all who surround them,
      making them new women and men.

Spirit of Unity,
gather in this humble prayer
    the prayers from all your people in the world,
that your peace, your justice and your mercy enfold us
    and enable us to live as one,
    the new humanity of peace.

A Prayer During Times of Economic Downturn
Bishop Robert Morneau

God of compassion
you know the struggles of the
 human heart.
You journey with us through
 good and difficult times.
Send your Sprit of
 perseverence and hope
upon us during this time of
 economic crisis
so that when we are
 discouraged, we may find
when we are anxious, we
 might trust your providence,
when we are empty and afraid,
we might experience your
 loving presence.

Your Son Jesus walked our
 world and knew hunger and
 rejection, fear and
 abandonment, suffering and
 even death.
Yet, he did your will and
 embraced the cross in loving
May we follor his example by
 placing all our hope in you,
by loving those who are less
and by putting our faith in
 your promise of eternal life.

We make our prayer through
 Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Advent Prayer
Jane Deren, from Education for Justice

The Winter Journey of Advent
In this time of darkness,
We choose to look toward the Light.
In this time when so many suffer,
We choose faith, not despair:
We choose the work of compassionate justice.
As we move through Advent together,
Hungry for transformation, for hope,
Our steps themselves
Transform us, nourish us.
We are on constant pilgrimage,
Moving to the heart of things,
Reaching beyond what any one of us
Can reach alone.
The brightness of the Incarnation
Guides us as we continue,
With the promise of the Prince of Peace
As the bright star in these dark nights.

Litany of Mary of Nazareth
Jean Wolbert, OSB, in collaboration with Anne McCarthy, OSB, and Margaret Wehrer

Glory to you, God our Creator. . .
Breathe into us new life, new meaning.
Glory to you, God our Savior. . .
Lead us into the way of peace and justice.
Glory to you, healing Spirit. . .
Transform us to empower others.

Mary, wellspring of peace. . .
Be our guide. . .
Model of strength. . .
Be our guide.
Model of gentleness. . .
Be our guide.
Model of trust. . .
Be our guide.
Model of patience. . .
Be our guide.
Model of courage. . .
Be our guide.
Model of risk. . .
Be our guide.
Model of openness. . .
Be our guide.
Model of perseverance. . .
Be our guide.

Oppressed woman. . .
Lead us to life.
Liberator of the oppressed. . .
Lead us to life.
Marginalized woman. . .
Lead us to life.
Comforter of the afflicted. . .
Lead us to life.
Cause of our joy. . .
Lead us to life.
Sign of contradiction. . .
Lead us to life.
Breaker of bondage. . .
Lead us to life.
Political refugee. . .
Lead us to life.

Mother of the liberator. . .
Pray for us.
Mother of the homeless. . .
Pray for us.
Mother of the dying. . .
Pray for us.
Mother of the nonviolent. . .
Pray for us.
Widowed mother. . .
Pray for us.
Unwed mother. . .
Pray for us.
Mother of a political prisoner. . .
Pray for us.
Mother of the condemned. . .
Pray for us.
Mother of the executed criminal. . .
Pray for us.

Woman of mercy. . .
Empower us.
Woman of faith. . .
Empower us.
Woman of contemplation. . .
Empower us.
Woman of vision. . .
Empower us.
Woman of wisdom and understanding. . .
Empower us.
Woman of grace and truth. . .
Empower us.
Woman, pregnant with hope. . .
Empower us.
Woman, centered in God. . .
Empower us.
Seeker of sanctuary. . .
Empower us.
First disciple. . .
Empower us.
Sharer in Christ's ministry. . .
Empower us.
Participant in Christ's passion. . .
Empower us.
Seeker of God's will. . .
Empower us.
Witness of Christ's resurrection. . .
Empower us.

Mary, Queen of Peace, we entrust our lives to you. Shelter us from war, hatred and oppression. Teach us to live in peace, to educate ourselves for peace. Inspire us to act justly, to reverence all God has made. Root peace firmly in our hearts and in our world.


A Prayer for Global Restoration
Michelle Balek, from Pax Christi

Good and Gracious God,
    Source of all life,
    all creation is charged with your Divine Engergy.

Ignite your Spark within us,
    that we may know ourselves
    as truly human and holy,
    irrevocably part of the Web of life.

All creation
    -each star and every flower,
    -each drop of water and every person,
    -each and every atom, down to its very electrons,
        explodes with the revelation
        of your sacred mystery.

Our minds alone cannot fathom such splendor.
Our hearts can only respond in awe, praise and gratitude.

Forgive us, we pray, our ignorance
and insecurities which
    -blind us to your Thumbprint writ large,
    -deafen us to the sacred space
        between two heartbeats,
    -prompt us in arrogance to demand and dominate,
    -numb us to the destruction we've caused,
    -hold us hostage to "either-or" thinking and living.

May we always walk gently upon this earth,
    in right relationship,
    -nurtured by your love,
    -taking only what we need,
    -giving back to the earth in gratitude,
    -sharing what we have,
    -honoring all with reverence,
    -reconciling and healing,
    -mindful of those who will come after,
    -recognizing our proper place as part of,
        not apart from, your creation,

Grant us the strength and courage, we pray,
for such transformation into your Kin-dom.

Then we, too, with the very stones will shout,

Muslim-Jewish-Christian Prayer for Peace
by Joan Chittister, OSB
from Pax Christi USA/Fellowship of Reconciliation

O God, you are the source
of life and peace.
Praised by your name forever.
We know it is you who turn
our minds to thoughts of peace.
Hear our prayer in this time of war.

Your power changes hearts.
Muslims, Christian, and Jews remember,
and profoundly affirm,
that they are followers of the one God,
children of Abraham, brothers and sisters;
enemies begin to speak to one another;
those who were estranged
join hands in friendship;
nations seek the way of peace together.

Strengthen our resolve to give witnesss
to these truths by the way we live.

Give to us:
Understanding that puts an end to strife;
Mercy that quenches hatred; and
Forgiveness that overcomes vengeance.

Empower all people to live in your law of love.


Peace Prayer
by John Dear, SJ
from You will be my witnesses: Saints, Prophets, and Martyrs

Lord, make me your witness.
In this world of darkness, let my light shine.
In this world of lies, let me speak the good news of your truth.
In this world of hate and fear, let me radiate your love.
In this world of despair, let me spread hope.
In this world of systemic injustice and institutionalized evil, let me promote justice and goodness.
In this world of sadness and sorrow, let me bring joy.
In this world of cruelty and condemnation, let me show your compassion.
In this world of vengeance and retaliation, let me offer your mercy and reconciliation.
In this world of war, let me serve your gift of peace.
In this world of violence, make me a teacher and apostle of your nonviolence.
In this world of death, let me proclaim the new life of resurrection.
Help me witness to the resurrection of Jesus by
loving my enemies,
showing compassion,
feeding the hungry,
sheltering the homeless,
serving the poor,
liberating the oppressed,
resisting war,
beating swords into plowshares,
And disarming my heart and the world.
In the name of the risen, nonviolent Jesus.

Vow of Nonviolence
(From Pax Christi)

Recognizing the violence in my own heart, Yet trusting in the goodness and mercy of God, I vow for one year to try to practice the nonviolence of Jesus Who taught us in the Sermon on the Mount:

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons and daughters of God. You have learned how it was said, 'You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy'; but I say to you, 'Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. In this way, you will be sons and daughters Of your Creator in heaven.'"

Before God my Creator and His Sanctifying Spirit, I vow to carry out in my life the love and example of Jesus By striving for peace within myself And seeking to be a peacemaker in my daily life, By accepting suffering rather than inflicting it, By refusing to retaliate in the face of provocation and violence, By persevering in nonviolence of tongue and heart, By living conscientiously and simply So that I do not deprive others of the means to live, By actively resisting evil and working nonviolently To abolish war and the causes of war from my own heart And from the face of the earth.

God, I trust in your sustaining love And believe that just as you gave me The grace and desire to offer this, So You will also bestow abundant grace to fulfill it.

A Prayer
By Father Pedro Arrupe, Former General, Society of Jesus

Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, falling in love in a quiet, absolute, final way.

What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.

It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in love.

Stay in love.

And it will decide everything.

Prayer for the Decade of Nonviolence
By Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB (from Pax Christi)

I bow to the sacred in all creation.
May my spirit fill the world with beauty and wonder.
May my mind seek truth with humility and openness.
May my heart forgive without limit.
May my love for friend, enemy and outcast be without measure.
May my needs be few and my living simple.
May my actions bear witness to the suffering of others.
May my hands never harm a living being.
May my tongue speak for those who are poor without fear of the powerful.
May my prayers rise with patient discontent until no child is hungry.
May my life's work be a passion for peace and nonviolence.
May my soul rejoice in the present moment.
May my imagination overcome death and despair with new possibility.
And may I risk reputation, comfort and security to bring this hope to the children.

Prayer of St. Francis of Asissi

Make me an instrument of Thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And 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,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.