Interreligious Peace Prayers
Compiled by the Universal Peace Federation
Traditional African Prayer for Peace
Almighty God, the Great Thumb,
we cannot evade to tie any knot;
the Roaring Thunder that splits mighty trees:
the all-seeing Lord up on high who sees
even the footprints of an antelope
on a rock mass here on Earth.
You are the one who does not hesitate
to respond to our call.
You are the cornerstone of peace.
Native American Prayer for Peace
O Great Spirit of our Ancestors,
I raise my pipe to you.
To your messengers the four winds,
and to Mother Earth,
who provides for your children.
Give us the wisdom to teach our children
to love, to respect, and to be kind to each
other so that they may grow
with peace in mind.
Let us learn to share all good things that
you provide for us on this Earth.
Buddhist Prayer for Peace
May all beings everywhere plagued
with sufferings of body and mind
quickly be freed from their illnesses.
May those frightened cease to be afraid,
and may those bound be free.
May the powerless find power,
and may people think of befriending one another.
May those who find themselves in trackless, fearful wilderness—
the children, the aged, the unprotected—
be guarded by beneficent celestials,
and may they swiftly attain Buddhahood.
Christian Prayer for Peace
Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we 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. Amen.
- Prayer attributed to St. Francis
Hindu Prayer for Peace
Oh God, lead us from the unreal to the Real.
Oh God, lead us from darkness to light.
Oh God, lead us from death to immortality.
Shanti, Shanti, Shanti unto all.
Oh Lord God almighty, may there be peace
In celestial regions.
May there be peace on earth.
May the waters be appeasing.
May herbs be wholesome, and may trees and plants
bring peace to all.
May all beneficent beings bring peace to us.
May thy Vedic Law propagate peace
All through the world.
May all things be a source of peace to us.
And may thy peace itself, bestow peace on all,
and may that peace come to me also.
Jewish Prayer for Peace
May it be Your will,
our God and God of our ancestors,
that You lead us away in peace,
guiding and directing our journey in peace.
Bring us to our desired destination
in health, joy, and peace.
Keep us from all the harm and misfortunes
that roam the world.
Bless our work.
Let us find kindness and openness
in those we encounter
wherever we go,
and before You as well.
Hear our prayer, God,
for You are the one who listens to prayers.
Praised are You, the One who hears prayers.
Muslim Prayer for Peace
In the name of Allah,
the beneficent, the merciful.
Praise be to the Lord of the
Universe who has created us and
made us into tribes and nations,
that we may know each other,
not that we may despise each other.
If the enemy incline towards peace,
do thou also incline towards peace,
and trust God, for the Lord is the one
that heareth and knoweth all things.
And the servants of God,
Most Gracious are those who walk
on the Earth in humility,
and when we address them,
we say "PEACE.”
Sufi Prayer for Peace
Send Thy peace O Lord, which is perfect and everlasting, that our souls may
radiate peace. Send Thy peace O Lord, that we may think, act and speak
harmoniously. Send Thy peace O Lord, that we may be
contented and thankful for Thy bountiful gifts. Send Thy peace O Lord, that
amidst our worldly strife,
we may enjoy Thy bliss. Send Thy peace O Lord, that we may endure all,
tolerate all, in the thought of Thy grace and mercy. Send Thy peace O Lord,
that our lives may become a Divine vision
and in Thy light, all darkness may vanish. Send Thy peace O Lord, our Father
and Mother, that we Thy children on Earth may all unite in one family.
- Inayat Khan, founder of the Sufi Order in the West
God, you are the source of life and peace. Praised be your name forever.
We know it is you who turn our minds to thoughts of peace.
Hear our prayer in this time of crisis. Your power changes hearts.
Muslims, Christians 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 witness 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. Amen. - distributed by Pax
Whenever I associate with others I will learn
To think of myself as the lowest among all
And respectfully hold others to be supreme
From the very depths of my heart.
In all actions I will learn to search into my mind
And as soon as an afflictive emotion arises
Endangering myself and others
Will firmly face and avert it.
I will learn to cherish beings of bad nature
And those oppressed by strong sins and suffering
As if I had found a precious
Treasure very difficult to find.
Be generous in prosperity and thankful in adversity.
Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech.
Be a lamp unto those who walk in darkness,
and a home to the stranger.
Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring.
Be a breath of life to the body of humankind,
a dew upon the soil of the human heart,
and a fruit upon the tree of humility.
Buddhist Teachings (continued)
When others out of jealousy treat me badly
With abuse, slander, and so on,
I will learn to take on all loss,
And offer victory to them.
When ne whom I have benefited with great hope
Unreasonably hurts me very badly,
I will learn to view that person
As an excellent spiritual guide.
In short I will learn to offer to everyone without exception
All help and happiness directly and indirectly
And respectfully take upon myself
All harm and suffering of my mothers.
- Langri Thangpa, The Wisdom of the Zen Masters
When things are investigated, then true knowledge is achieves;
When true knowledge is achieved, then the will becomes sincere;
When the will is sincere, then the heart is set right
(or then the mind sees right);
When the heart is set right, then the personal life is cultivated;
when the personal life is cultivated, then the family life is regulated;
When the family life is regulated, then the national life is orderly;
And when the national life is orderly, then there is peace in the world.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be known as the Children of God.
But I say to you that hear, love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you,
pray for those who abuse you.
To those who strike you on the cheek,
offer the other also,
and from those who take away your cloak,
do not withhold your coat as well.
Give to everyone who begs from you,
and of those who take away your goods,
do not ask them again.
And as you wish that others would do to you,
so do to them.
Come let us go up the mountain of the Lord,
that we may walk the paths of the Most High.
And we shall beat our swords into ploughshares,
and our spears into pruning hooks.
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation—
neither shall they learn war any more.
And none shall be afraid,
for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts has spoken.
The taking of one innocent life is like taking all of Mankind...
and the saving of one life is like saving all of Mankind.
- Qur'an 5:33
Although the people living across the ocean
surrounding us, I believe,
are all our brothers and sisters,
why are there constant troubles in this world?
Why do winds and waves rise in the
ocean surrounding us?
I only earnestly wish that the wind will
soon puff away all the clouds
which are hanging over the tops of the mountains.
God adjudges us according to our deeds,
not the coat that we wear:
that truth is above everything,
but higher still is truthful living.
Know that we attaineth God when we loveth,
and only that victory endures in consequences of which
no one is defeated.
If we desire peace, we must prepare for peace.
The most important thing is to build a culture of peace.
The flourishing of culture of peace will generate the mindset
that is a prerequisite for the transition from force to reason,
from conflict and violence to dialogue and peace.
Culture of peace will then provide the bedrock
to support a stable, progressing and prospering world
— a world that is finally at peace with itself.
Peace starts within each one of us.
When we have inner peace,
we can be at peace with those around us.
When our community is in a state of peace,
it can share peace with neighboring communities, and so on.
When we feel love and kindness towards others,
it not only makes others feel loved and cared for,
but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.
The problems we face today, violent conflicts, destruction of nature, poverty,
hunger and so on, are human-created problems which can be resolved
through human effort, understanding and the development of a sense of
brotherhood and sisterhood. We need to cultivate a universal responsibility
for one another and the planet we share.
We have a responsibility to look after our planet. It is our only home.
A human being is a part of the whole,
called by us, "Universe," a part limited in time and space.
He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings
as something separated from the rest
— a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.
This delusion is a kind of prison for us,
restricting us to our personal desires and to affection
for a few persons nearest to us.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison
by widening our circle of compassion
to embrace all living creatures
and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Nobody is able to achieve this completely,
but the striving for such achievement is in itself
a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
Peace appeals to the hearts;
studies to the brain.
Both are needed,
But equally indispensable is a valid link between brain and heart.
And that, in a nutshell, is what peace studies and peace practice
are all about.
Power is of two kinds.
One is obtained by the fear of punishment
and the other by acts of love.
Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent
than the one derived from fear of punishment.
What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless,
whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism
or the holy name of liberty and democracy?
There are many causes that I am prepared to die for
but no cause that I am prepared to kill for.
An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.
We must become the change we want to see in the world.
I have come into this world to experience this:
men so true to love
they would rather die before speaking
men so true their lives are His covenant -
the promise of
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands
even at the height of
their arc of
because we have finally realized
there is just one flesh
we can wound.
King Hussein of Jordan
We believe that peace is not just signed papers,
but rather a contract between generations
for the building of a more promising
and less threatening future.
Without peace and without the overwhelming majority of people
that believe in peace defending it,
working for it,
believing in it,
security can never really be a reality.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Somehow we must be able to stand up against our most bitter opponents
and say: ”We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to
endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us
what you will and we will still love you. We cannot in all good conscience
obey your unjust laws and abide by the unjust system, because non-
cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with
good, so throw us in jail and we will still love you. Bomb our homes and
threaten our children, and, as difficult as it is, we will still love you. Send
your hooded perpetrators of violence into our communities at the midnight
hour and drag us out on some wayside road and leave us half-dead as you
beat us, and we will still love you. Send your propaganda agents around the
country and make it appear that we are not fit, culturally and otherwise, for
integration, but we’ll still love you. But be assured that we’ll wear you down
by our capacity to suffer, and one day we will win our freedom. We will not
only win freedom for ourselves; we will appeal to your heart and conscience
that we will win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory.”
Humanity today possesses sufficient economic, cultural
and spiritual resources to introduce a better global order.
There will be no peace among the civilizations
without peace among the religions!
There will be no peace among the religions
without dialogue between the religions!
There will be no new world order without a world ethic,
a global ethic despite dogmatic differences.
Global ethic is nothing less than the necessary minimum of common values,
standards and basic attitudes. In other words: … a minimal basis consensus
relating to binding values, irrevocable standards and moral attitudes, which
can be affirmed by all religions despite their ‘dogmatic’ differences.
Rabbi Harold S. Kushner
Let the rain come and wash away the ancient grudges,
the bitter hatreds held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory of the hurt, the neglect.
Then let the sun come out and fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us wherever we are broken.
Let it burn away the fog so that we can see each other clearly.
Let the warmth and brightness of the sun melt our selfishness.
And let the light of the sun be so strong that we will see
all people as our neighbors.
Let the earth, nourished by rain, bring forth flowers
to surround us with beauty.
And let the mountains teach our hearts to reach upward to heaven.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
Each man has in him the potential
to realize the truth
through his own will and endeavor
and to help others
to realize it.
Human life therefore is infinitely
Chief Oren Lyons
It seems to me that we are living in a time of prophecy,
a time of definitions and decisions.
We are the generation with the responsibilities and the option to choose
the Path of Life for the future of our children,
or the life and path which defies the Laws of Regeneration.
We can still alter our course. It is NOT too late.
We still have options.
We need the courage to change our values
to the regeneration of our families,
the life that surrounds us.
Given this opportunity, we can raise ourselves.
We must join hands with the rest of Creation
and speak of Common Sense, Responsibility, Brotherhood, and PEACE.
I had the most extraordinary experience of love of neighbor with a Hindu
family. A gentleman came to our house and said: "Mother Teresa, there is a
family who have not eaten for so long. Do something.” So I took some rice
and went there immediately. And I saw the children - their eyes shining with
hunger. I don't know if you have ever seen hunger. But I have seen it very
often. And the mother of the family took the rice I gave her and went out.
When she came back, I asked her: "Where did you go? What did you do?”
And she gave me a very simple answer: "They are hungry also.” What struck
me was that she knew - and who are they? A Muslim family - and she knew.
I didn't bring any more rice that evening because I wanted them, Hindus and
Muslims, to enjoy the joy of sharing. But there were those children,
radiating joy, sharing the joy and peace with their mother because she had
the love to give until it hurts. And you see this is where love begins - at home
in the family.
Pope John Paul II
Peace is not just the absence of war.
It involves mutual respect and confidence
between peoples and nations.
It involves collaboration and binding agreements.
Like a cathedral, peace must be constructed patiently
and with unshakable faith.
The Cathedral of Peace is built of many small stones.
Each person has to become a stone in that beautiful edifice.
All people must deliberately and resolutely commit themselves
to the pursuit of peace.
Speaking at the Cathedral in Coventry, England, a city devastated by war and
rebuilt in hope
If you want to make peace with your enemy,
you have to work with your enemy.
Then he becomes your partner.
No one is born hating another person
because of the color of his skin,
or his background,
or his religion.
People must learn to hate,
and if they can learn to hate,
they can be taught to love,
for love comes more naturally to the human heart
than its opposite.
Rigoberta Menchú Tum
To be a light to others
you will need a good dose of the spiritual life.
Because as my mother used to say,
if you are in a good place,
then you can help others.
But if you're not well,
then go look for somebody
who is in a good place
who can help you.
Establishing lasting peace
is the work of education;
all politics can do
is keep us out of war.
Archbishop Oscar Romero
Peace is not the product of terror or fear.
Peace is not the silence of cemeteries.
Peace is not the silent result of violent repression.
Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all
to the good of all.
Peace is dynamism.
Peace is generosity.
It is right
and it is duty.
The basis of world peace
is the teaching which runs through
almost all the great religions of the world:
"Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
some of the other great Jewish teachers,
all preached it.
Their followers forgot it.
Lead us from death to life, From falsehood to truth,
From despair to hope, From fear to trust. Lead us from hate to love, From war
Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe. Eternal God, Creator of the
universe, there is no God but You. Great and wonderful are Your works,
wondrous are your ways. Thank You for the many splendid variety of Your
creation. Thank You for the many ways we affirm Your presence and
purpose, and the freedom to do so. Forgive our violation of Your
creation. Forgive our violence toward each other. We stand in awe and
gratitude for Your persistent love for each and all of Your children: Christian,
Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Sikhs,
as well as those with other faiths. Grant to all and our leaders attributes of
the strong; mutual respect in words and deed, restraint in the exercise of
power, and the will for peace with justice, for all. Eternal God, Creator of the
universe, there is no God but You. Amen.
Everyone thinks of changing the world,
but no one thinks of changing himself.
The improvement of life was only accomplished
to the extent to which it was based on
a change of consciousness,
that is, to the extent to which the law of violence
was replaced in men's consciousness
by the law of love.
Every great dream begins with a dreamer.
Always remember, you have within you the strength,
and the passion
to reach for the stars
to change the world.
I freed a thousand slaves.
I could have freed a thousand more
if only they knew they were slaves.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Forgiveness is taking seriously the awfulness
of what has happened when you are treated unfairly.
Forgiveness is not pretending
that things are other than the way they are.
Forgiveness and reconciliation are not just ethereal,
spiritual, other-worldly activities.
They have to do with the real world.
They are realpolitik,
because in a very real sense,
without forgiveness, there is no future.
Dear God, we pray for this world. We ask that you remove the walls that
separate us and the chains that hold us down. Use us to create a new world
on earth, one that reflects Your will, Your vision, Your peace. In this moment,
we recognize the power You have given us to create anew the world we
want. Today's world, dear Lord, but reflects our past confusion. Now, in this
moment, we ask for new light. Illumine our minds. Use us dear Lord, as never
before as part of a great and mighty plan for the healing of this world. May
we no longer be at war with each other. May we no longer be at war with
ourselves. Let us forgive this century and every other, the evils of history, the
pain of our common fears. Remove from our hearts the illusion that we are
separate. May every nation and every people and every color and every
religion find at last the one heartbeat we share. Through you, our common
Father/Mother and the redeemer of our broken dreams. May we not hold
onto yesterday. May we not obscure Your vision of tomorrow but rather may
You flood our hearts. Flow through us, work through us, that in our lives we
might se the illumined world. Create, sustain that world on earth, dear God,
for us and for our children.
Compiled by the Universal Peace Federation