Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Prayer of Peace


Whenever I sit down to write an article for the Religion section, I search my heart and soul for words to put down on paper that may reach out and touch the reader’s heart.  When I sit down to write, I quiet my mind and let the words flow from deep within me.  I have to trust that the Spirit of my being is speaking to me and through me as the words flow like water gently trickling down a clear spring brook.  I also have to trust that the words will reach those they’re meant to reach.

As I was meditating on what to write next, I found this prayer in my drawer that I thought was so beautiful and I felt led to share it with you.  Not everyone may understand it or even agree with it, and that’s okay.  But this prayer touches my soul and I thought it might touch others as well.  It was written by Ilchi Lee and was read at the United Nations Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders on August 28th, 2000.  It’s called “The Prayer of Peace.”  (I have divided the lines with a comma.)

“I offer this prayer of peace, Not to the Christian God, Nor to the Buddhist God, Nor to the Islamic God, Nor to the Jewish God, But to the God of all humanity.

For the peace that we wish for, Is Not a Christian peace, Nor a Buddhist peace, Nor an Islamic peace, Nor a Jewish peace, But a human peace, For all of us.

I offer this prayer of peace, To the God that lives within all of us, That fills us with happiness and joy, To make us whole, And help us understand life, As an expression of love for all human beings.

For no religion can be better, Than any other religion, For no truth can be truer, Than any other truth, For no nation can be bigger, Than the earth itself.

Help us all go beyond, Our small limits, And realize that we are one, That we are all from the earth.  That we are all earth people, Before we are Indians, Koreans, or Americans.

God made the earth, We humans have to make it prosper, By realizing that we are of the earth, And not of any nation, race, or religion, By knowing that we are truly one, In our spiritual heritage.

Let us now apologize, To all humanity, For the hurt that religions have caused, So that we can heal the hurt, Let us now promise to one another, To go beyond egotism and competition, To come together as one in God.

I offer this prayer of peace, To you the almighty, To help us find you within all of us, So that we may stand proudly, One day before you, As one humanity.

I offer this prayer of peace, With all my fellow earth people, For a lasting peace on earth.”

There are so many wonderful people out there who are promoting peace among all mankind the world over.  John Lennon stated, “You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one.”  We cannot just wish for peace, we need to live the peace.  It needs to come from each and every one of us.  We need to let our inner light shine so bright that it overcomes all darkness everywhere in the world.  And we do that through love, compassion, kindness, understanding, tolerance, and knowing our interconnectedness in and through everyone and everything in the world.  When we harm others, we are really only harming ourselves.

The Dalai Lama said, “World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is the manifestation of human compassion.”   One way to do this is to find the light in others.  Yes, it may be very difficult to see it in some people because their light has been covered up with so much pain and suffering.  But it’s there.  Gandhi said, “If you don’t find God in the next person you meet, don’t waste time looking for him further.”  I posted this last quote on my Facebook page and it was quickly shared over a hundred times.  People got it.  And more and more are getting it every day. 

God/Spirit is in each and every one of us and it is only until we can see it in each other, regardless of color, race, religion, politics, culture, sexual preference and so on, that we will know and feel how much a part of each other we really are. 

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

(Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper February 1, 2013.)
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