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Prayers for Ourselves

Prayers for Ourselves

A close friend told me recently that I need to take time just for myself, no one else, not one iota for another, just for myself. She said it would be best not even to pray for another, just myself. This was a novel idea, yet a healing balm to imagine at a time like this.

I appreciated her care so much because she wanted me to care for myself. I think I was drawn to the book Prayers for Hope and Comfort: Reflection, Meditations, and Inspirations, by Maggie Oman Shannon, because it offered prayers for ourselves. Here are some of them:

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to do into dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your home
tonight.

The night will give you a horizon
Further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the swee
confinement of your aloneness
to learn
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.

–David Whyte, “Sweet Darkness”

If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on,
he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.

–Saint John of the Cross

O Great Spirit,
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
and whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me! I am small and weak, I need your
strength and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes
ever behold the red and purple sunset.

Make my hands respect the things you have
made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.

Make me wise so that I may understand the
things you have taught my people.

Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.

I seek strength, not to be greater than my
brother, but to fight my greatest enemy–myself.

Make me always ready to come to you with
clean hands and straight eyes.

So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit may come to you without shame.

–Native American prayer

Adapted from Prayers for Hope and Comfort: Reflection, Meditations, and Inspirations, by Maggie Oman Shannon (Conari Press, 2008).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

45 comments

+ add your own
3:35AM PST on Mar 8, 2013

Wonderful prayers....thank you.

3:27AM PST on Mar 8, 2013

We need that...... :-)

4:04AM PST on Dec 18, 2012

thank You

6:53AM PDT on Jun 10, 2012

nice

6:16PM PST on Feb 8, 2012

Beautiful. Thank you

8:16PM PDT on Sep 10, 2011

Beautiful. Thank you.

6:21AM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

Beautiful thankyou

1:19PM PST on Feb 13, 2011

thank you

12:56AM PDT on Sep 22, 2010

Amen

1:37PM PDT on Aug 28, 2010

I think I like "Sweet Darkness" best, but all of them are beautiful. Thanks to Annie and to the other commenters for sharing.

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