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A Radical Prayer for Meaning

Posted by Erin Bechtol

Radical Prayers: On Peace, Love, and Nonviolence is a guide to daily connection to God through prayers that meditate on the challenges facing us today. With reflections on each continent, wildlife, and homelessness among many more topics, John Dear guides us through a holistic view of our world and the steps we can take to find nonviolence in every aspect of our lives. Read on below for an excerpt from the book, available here.

With You, There Is Meaning, There Is Love, There Is Peace

Dear God,

You are Mount Everest.
You are the Pacific Ocean.
You are the Grand Canyon.
You are the big blue sky of the high desert.
You are the dark night of ten thousand stars.
You are the sun and the moon
and the clouds and the rain
and the snow and the wind.
You are always there.
You are so faithful,
so steady,
so big,
so small,
so calm.
You are the center of stillness.
You have always been and always will be.

Perhaps that is why we reject you,
because instead of mindful stillness
we prefer to run around in mindless chaos.
We don’t know any better.
We are like wild animals who have yet to be tamed.
We let our minds zigzag
from one crazy thought to the next,
and let our lives drift
from current to current.
We feed ourselves on the mindlessness of the culture,
from the endless TV noise
to the voices of exclusivity
to the violence and hostility that surrounds us.

We think of anything and everything under the sun,
everything but you and your peace.
We give in to the narrow-mindedness
of nationalism and privilege
and fail to see the big picture.
We refuse to step into the big space of your stillness.
We find it boring.
We prefer the chaos of our violence.

And so we know nothing of your stillness,
your peaceableness,
your gentleness.

Still, there you are, inviting us into your stillness,
your peace,
the present moment,
the fullness of life.
You are the present moment.
You are peace.
You are life itself.
With you, there is nothing boring.
Everything pales in comparison to you.
Your presence, your peace, your stillness
are infinitely interesting and healing.

With you, there is meaning,
there is love,
there is peace.

Help us to step into your presence
and live in your present moment of peace,
that we might be present to ourselves and one another,
and one day learn from you the wisdom of peace.


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