Prayers & Prose For Peace

Geese

You Do Not Have To Be Good

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

— Mary Oliver

Maya Angelou 566 239px

Prayer by Maya Angelou

Father, Mother, God,
Thank you for your presence
during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.
Thank you for your presence
during the bright and sunny days,
for then we can share that which we have
with those who have less.
And thank you for your presence
during the Holy Days, for then we are able
to celebrate you and our families
and our friends.
For those who have no voice,
we ask you to speak.
For those who feel unworthy,
we ask you to pour your love out
in waterfalls of tenderness.
For those who live in pain,
we ask you to bathe them
in the river of your healing.
For those who are lonely, we ask
you to keep them company.
For those who are depressed,
we ask you to shower upon them
the light of hope.
Dear Creator, You, the borderless
sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the
world that which we need most—Peace.

—Maya Angelou

Eagle Blue Sky 566 239px

Great Mystery, awaken our hearts!

Great Mystery, awaken our hearts!
Break us open and bring us back
from crazed and numb self-destruction!
Bring us together, overflowing with love
and daring to believe we are never too late
and no action is ever too little!
Let us feel the ocean of love moving through us,
the strength of our ancestors lifting us up,
the yearning of our descendent’s to be born
in a more beautiful and peaceful world,
and a fierce and unrelenting determination
to recognize our blind spots,
face our fears,
remember our deepest truths,
hold the highest possible vision
of ourselves and each other,
and give everything we’ve got
to creating a world
where people have
clean water, fresh air, nourishing food,
safety, dignity, hope, purpose and love.
Great Mystery, Awaken us now!

— Hunter Flournoy

Sky Prayer1

Wild and Precious

“I don’t know exactly what prayer is;
I do know how to pay attention.
How to fall down in the grass.
How to kneel in the grass.
How to be idle and blessed.
How to stroll through the fields
–which Is exactly what I have been doing all day.
Tell me; what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last and too soon?
Tell me; what is it you plan to do with your wild and precious Life?”

—Mary Oliver

Hummingbird 566 239px

Summer Story

When the hummingbird
sinks its face
into the trumpet vine
and the funnels
of the blossoms,
and the tongue
leaps out
and throbs,
I am scorched
to realize once again
how many small, available things
are in the world
that aren’t
pieces of gold
or power–
that nobody owns
or could buy even
for a hillside of money–
that just
float about the world,
or drift over the fields,
or into the gardens,
and into the tents of the vines
and how here I am
spending my time,
as the saying goes,
watching until the watching turns into feeling
so that I feel I am myself
a small bird
with a terrible hunger
with a thin beak probing and dipping
and a heart that races so fast
it is only a heartbeat ahead of breaking
and I am the hunger and the assuagement
and also I am the leaves and the blossoms,
and, like them, I am full of delight and shaking

— Mary Oliver

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