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A Radical Prayer for a Nonviolent Heart

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.


Fashion My Heart After the Sacred Heart of the Nonviolent Jesus


Dear God,

Give me a nonviolent heart like yours.
Widen my heart to embrace every human being
as my sister and brother,
as you love every human being
as your beloved daughter or son.

My heart has grown cold.
It’s been hardened by years of selfishness and violence.
It’s like a rock.
Touch it, heal it, break it open,
and let your light shine through it.
It’s not working the way it should.

It’s not your fault, it’s mine.
Years of apathy have set in.
I’m slow to feel empathy for others,
to understand their pain and brokenness,
to show compassion to them,
no matter what they do to me.

Inspire me to reach out in loving service of others.
Motivate me to care for those in need.
Activate me to work for justice and disarmament.
By giving of myself for others, as Jesus did,
I know my heart will heal and widen.

Disarm my heart
and I will be your servant of disarming love for others.
Heal my broken heart
and send me out to heal the broken-hearted.
End the war in my heart
and fill me with your peace.
Transform my violent heart into your nonviolent heart,
that it might radiate your peace to one and all.

Fashion my heart after the sacred heart
of the nonviolent Jesus.
Give me a sacred heart, too,
that you might have a sacred place to dwell.

As you disarm my heart,
take it for yourself and share it with others.
I give it to you.
It’s yours.
From now on,
my heart belongs to you.


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