May all beings everywhere plagued with sufferings of body and mind quickly be freed from their illnesses. May those frightened cease to be afraid, and may those bound be free. May the powerless find power, and may people think of befriending one another. May those who find themselves in trackless, fearful wilderness--the children, the aged, the unprotected--be guarded by beneficent celestials, and may they swiftly attain [enlightenment]. - A Buddhist Prayer for Peace
Prayer can be so simple, but if we all were praying in the same direction - not using the same language or metaphors or images or symbols, but just praying for the same common good, what do you suppose would happen?
May suffering people find comfort.
May frightened people be encouraged.
May the disenfranchised find liberty and equality.
May people be friendly toward one another.
May the vulnerable be somehow protected.
Surely those are goals on which we can all agree. I don't care if you believe in a deity or not. I don't care what temple or shrine you call your house of worship. But if we each just intentionally wished for peace, for justice, for goodwill, for universal well-being, then surely we would move in those directions. We wouldn't bomb countries. We wouldn't execute prisoners. We wouldn't speak as if same-gender loving people were inhuman. We wouldn't destroy our environment. We wouldn't abuse children, ignore the elderly, or exploit the poor. If we all prayed, however we understand prayer, for peace and justice and health and prosperity, our collective consciousness would be raised and together we would find answers to life's challenges and we would stop being the source of pain and destruction for one another.
Invoke the god(s) of your understanding, or if you do not name your ultimate Good, then simply speak aloud your best wishes and highest hopes, but let's pray not for our enemy's destruction or for our prejudices to win, but rather for peace and healing to be made universally manifest and for the weak to be cared for and every person to be happy, whole, and free. Whether there are gods or angels or saints to hear our prayers or not, if we unify our thinking to promote only the Good, then our actions will doubtlessly produce a much better reality for the whole world.
So, please, pray. Pray that suffering people find comfort, that frightened people be encouraged, that the disenfranchised find liberty and equality, that people will be friendly toward one another, and that the vulnerable will be safe. I believe that when enough of us pray for such things, the world will be transformed.
Let us pray...