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.
Help Me to Be Nonviolent to Myself and
to Make Peace with Myself
Help me to be nonviolent to myself.
Give me the grace to treat myself nonviolently
so that your love and grace might dwell within me
and I might radiate your peace for the rest of my life.
Even if I don’t want to be nonviolent to myself,
even if I continue the old patterns
of self-hatred and low self-esteem,
help me to be nonviolent to myself.
Do it for your sake.
Help me to be gentle with myself for your sake.
You love me.
There are large parts of myself that I do not love,
but give me the grace to love myself
because you love me as I am.
Help me to love myself and be nonviolent to myself
as a way for me to show my love for you.
In the light of your love,
I let go of self-hatred and low self-esteem.
I let go of the violence that lingers within me,
the hostility toward myself,
the inner rage and anger that boils just under the surface.
Help me to walk in your presence,
to feel your love,
that my inner violence will dissipate,
that I might begin to make peace with myself
and feel good about myself.
Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves.
If I don’t love myself,
I won’t be able to love anyone else.
I want to love everyone.
So help me then to love myself as you love me.
Help me to be kind and merciful to myself.
Then I will be kind and merciful to others.
Inspire me to give myself a break,
to let myself off the hook,
to show unconditional friendliness to myself.
Teach me to cultivate inner peace,
inner nonviolence and gentleness,
that I may dwell in your peace,
and radiate your peace to others.
With you by my side,
teach me to accept myself and love myself
so that I may discover a new healthy self-esteem,
that I may respect myself and reclaim my inner dignity.
Through this inner transformation,
help me to love and respect others,
to treat everyone with dignity
as I treat myself with love and dignity.