We can all use a bit of serenity about now. I’ve heard it said that the basis of all true religion is believing that “There is a God and I’m not him.” That’s the spirit of this updating of the well known Serenity Prayer.
A New Serenity Prayer
by Jim Manney
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the people I cannot change,
which is pretty much everyone,
since I’m clearly not you, God.
At least not the last time I checked
And while you’re at it, God,
please give me the courage
to change what I need to change about myself,
which is frankly a lot, since, once again,
I’m not you, which means I’m not perfect.
It’s better for me to focus on changing myself
than to worry about changing other people,
who, as you’ll no doubt remember me saying,
I can’t change anyway.
Finally, give me the wisdom to just shut up
whenever I think that I’m clearly smarter
than everyone else in the room,
that no one knows what they’re talking about except me,
or that I alone have all the answers.
grant me the wisdom
to remember that I’m
a very simple act that we can all perform each day: offer up the “Thanksgiving
Prayer.” Not just at Thanksgiving, but
all year long. Because prayer transforms
us, allowing God to transform the world through us.
Oh, God, when I have food, help me to remember the
When I have work, help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a warm home, help me to remember the
When I am without pain, help me to remember those
And remembering, help me to destroy my complacency
Make me concerned enough to help, by word and deed,
cry out for what we take for
—Samuel F. Phgh
You probably do pray sometimes when you don’t recognize it as actual “prayer.” Even atheists pray.
Sometimes I come across something I think is a beautiful way to look at things. I found this on the Facebook posting of a friend and want to pass it on to you for today’s Thursday Thought.
Because of the significance of the season--notably Good Friday today, beginning of Passover tonight, Easter Sunday in two days–I’d like us all to think about peace.
PEACE is God’s loving gift to us. All He asks is that we accept it together. All of us, from all faiths. One way is through “The Peace Seeds.” These 12 prayers were prayed in Assisi on the 1986 Day of Prayer for World Peace. They are Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Muslim, Sikh, Bahai’, Shinto, Native African, Native American, Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian. They may refer to the Life Force in different ways, but all call on it to help us attain the peace our Father wishes for us.
Let each prayer touch you deeply, where your longing for peace lives. Feel the unity of the world is in its craving for peace. Then call upon God using each prayer. You may want to change the references you aren’t comfortable with: “Vedic Law” in the Hindu to “Holy Law” or “Buddhahood” to “Your Will.” Remember: God wants not mere words from us but a unified desire to accept His gift.
You’ll find the Peace Seed Prayers at http://chaplaincyinstitute.org/library/blessings-and-prayers/interfaith-prayers-for-peace.
Assisi, Buddhist, Christian, Easter, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Native American, Passover, peace, prayer, seeds, Sikh
I’m tired of hearing, “My prayers are with them.” Not that I don’t believe in the power of prayer, because I do. I just don’t believe THEM, the people who say this. Sure, their hearts are in the right place; they simply want to comfort the grieving. How many, though, actually follow through on what they say? Not a quick “Oh, my God!” on hearing about a tragedy but actual prayer? Too often, the victims fly out of a person’s mind as soon as he/she has uttered those words. What would happen if everyone who said that actually DID say a little prayer frequently for the victim and family, DID hold them for a few moments every once in awhile in their minds and hearts? I bet it would do some good for those being prayed for. It would be good, too, for those praying, because, as studies show, a little meditation and reaching out to others makes a person happier and healthier.
A group of Christian women thought it would be a good thing to have a yearly day when everyone prays. March 1 became the World Day of Prayer. It has grown to involve 170 countries and regions, and it embraces people of all backgrounds, religions, cultures, and races. I’m sure the organizers wouldn’t mind if atheists didn’t pray but sent out good feelings to the world at large. It’s that kind of movement.
If you’re inclined to join in, this year’s theme is “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” If nothing else, show kindness to an immigrant today.
Why did I title this with “Beware”? Because I believe that a world full of people praying and sending out good vibes may just carry the resultant feeling onward, effecting changes in this weary world of ours. Those who cherish what they get out of injustices toward others might not like the new world being formed by this movement.
Atheists are Americans, too. Therefore, religion doesn’t belong in a Presidential Inauguration. That’s what I’m hearing from my atheist friends. They don’t like the Oath of Office taken on a Bible and ending with “so help me God.” And they certainly don’t like today’s National Day of Prayer at (gasp!) the National Cathedral.
My reply to them is this: When our country was formed, even atheists who helped frame the Constitution agreed to the inclusion of the Deity, as long as the rights of non-believers were secure. The National Day of Prayer goes back to those same times, when George Washington participated. Today we continue what has become a national tradition, one that harks back even farther, when Pilgrims sailed here so they could exercise their right to worship. (I like to think that a few of them were, in reality, atheists and agnostics, coming along because they felt that they could help form a new nation in which they, too, were not persecuted.)
Is something right or good simply because it’s tradition? Of course not. But if it’s based on fighting injustice, and if it’s nurtured into something that allows justice for all…that makes it good and right.
Besides, if atheists are right, all we are doing is promoting good (although they call it “brainwashing”). On the other hand, if believers are right…well, we and our country can use all help can get .
agnostic, atheists, brainwash, Constitution, Inauguration, justice, national, persecute, prayer, Presidential, tradition