Prayers

Acknowledgements: These prayers are from Jon Lyksett's "A Scout Is Reverent" book, and from a posting to the Scout-Girls-L List, by Kathie Seaverns. Thank you.

Table of Contents

The Great Spirit Prayer

The lone, wild fowl in lofty flight is still with Thee, nor leaves Thy sight. The ends of earth are in Thy hand, the sea's dark deep and no man's land. And I am Thine, I rest in Thee. Great Spirit, come and rest in me.
Amen.

A Baha'i Prayer

I have awakened in Thy shelter, O my God, and it becometh him who awakeneth in That shelter to abide within the sanctuary of Thy protection and the stronghold of Thy defense. Illumine my inner being, O my Lord, even as Thou hast illumined my outer being with the morning light of Thy Favor.
--from the Baha'i Writings

A Native American Prayer

READ IN UNISON
O Great Spirit of the North,
O Great Spirit of the South,
O Great Spirit of the East,
O Great Spirit of the West.
O Great Spirit, you are one.

You have given us our house,
Where there is food,
Where there is drink,
Where there are clothes.

You have given us our house,
Where there is fellowship,
Where there is companionship,
Where there is friendship.

You have given us our house,
Where we can grow,
Where we can learn,
Where we can know you.

O Great Spirit:
You are One,
Our house is One,
We are One!

Master of the Universe Prayer

Master of the universe
Grant me the ability to be alone;
May it be my custom to go outdoors each day
Among the trees and grass, among all living things.
And there may I be alone, and enter into prayer,
To talk with the one to whom I belong.
May I express there everything in my heart,
And may all the foliage of the field
(All grasses, trees and plants)
May they all awake at my coming,
To send the powers of their life into the words of my prayer
So that my prayer and speech are made whole
Through the life and the spirit of all growing things,
Which are made as one by their transcendent source.

--Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav (1772-1811)

A Simple Prayer

Thy song sings in my heart,
Thy voice wispers in the wind,
Thy beauty shows in all things.
Magnificent and steadfast is your presence.
Thank you for reminding us,
How great you are.

--Thanks to Greg Gough, SM Troop 201, Ozark, MO.

A Scouter's Thanksgiving Prayer

With reverance in our hearts,
We, Your many children of many beliefs,
United in common purpose,
Gather to offer this our humble prayer, In Thanksgiving:

As Scouters we are thankful for:

The many gifts and talents given to our fellow Scouters, and to ourselves;

The freedom we have to join together and as a team accomplish more than any of us could alone;

The opportunity to be of service to young people, parents, other Scouters and our community;

Our joy at seeing so many young people become excited as they grow and are able to meet challenges;

Being reminded by their ceremonies and legends
that he who serves his fellows, is of his fellows greatest;

And most importantly we are thankful for the gift of knowing that our prayers are heard.

We each in own way take this moment to silently add our own thanksgivings . . . (pause)

With thanks in our hearts we offer our prayers and ask that You, the Great Scoutmaster of All Scouts, be with each of us until we meet again.
AMEN

-- Thanks to Michael F. Bowman, DDC-Training, GW Dist. Nat Capital Area Council, mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG

A Scout's Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Help to keep my honor bright
And teach me that integrity of character
Is my most priceless possession.

Grant that I may do my best today,
And strive to do even better tommorrow.

Teach me that duty is a friend and not an enemy,
And help me face even the most disagreeable task cheerfully.

Give me the faith to understand my purpose and life,
Open my mind to the truth and fill my heart with love.

I am thankful for all the blessings you have bestowed upon my country.
Help me to do my duty to my country and
To know that a good nation must be made from good men.

Help me to remember my obligation to obey the Scout Law,
And give me understanding, so that it is more than mere words.

May I never tire of the joy of helping other people or
Look the Other way when someone is in need.

You have given me the gift of a body,
Make me wise enough to keep it health,
That I might serve better.

You are the source of all wisdom,
Help me to have an alert mind,
Teach me to think,
And help me to learn discipline.

In all that I do and in every challenge I face,
Help me to know the difference between right and wrong,
And lead me in obedience on a straight path to a worthy goal.

-- Thanks to Michael F. Bowman, DDC-Training, GW Dist. Nat Capital Area Council, mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG

A Scouter's Prayer

"Build me a Scout, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weakand brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory... Build me a Scout whose wishes will not take the place of deeds; a Scout who himself is the foundation stone of knowledge...

Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail...

Build me a Scout whose heart will be clear, whose goals will be high. A Scout who will master himself before he seeks to master others, one who will march into the future, yet never forget the past...

And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true wisdom, and the meekness of true strength...

Then I, a Scouter who knew him, will dare to whisper, `I have not lived in vain.'"

Prayer Composed by Chief Yellow Lark, a Blackfoot Indian

Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds and whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me. I come before you, one of your many children. I am weak and small. I need your strength and wisdom. Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset; my ears sharp so I may hear your voice. Make me wise, so I may learn the things you have taught my people, the lessons you have hidden under every rock and leaf. I seek strength, not to be superior to my brothers, but to be able to fight my greatest enemy--myself. Make me ever ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes, so whenever life fades, like the fading sunset, my spirit will come to you without shame.

An Indian Prayer

Morning star wake us, filled with joy
To new days of growing to man from boy.
Sun, with your power, give us light
That we can tell wrong and do what's right.
South wind, we ask, in your gentle way
Blow us the willingness to obey.
North wind, we ask, live up to thy name,
Send us the strength to always be game.
East wind, we ask, with your breath so snappy,
Fill us with knowledge of how to be happy.
West wind, we ask, blow all that is fair
To us, that we may always be square.
Moon, that fills the night with red light,
guard us well while we sleep in the night.
Akela, please guide us in every way,
We'll follow your trail in work or play.

A Simple Blessing

May you walk in Peace,
Live with Love,
work with Joy,
and May Your God go with you.

A Solemn Prayer

O Lord, this solemn prayer comes from deep desire,
May my life be as pure as candle fire.
Let my every breath dispel the world's gloom,
Let my spirit glow so brightly that darkness meets its doom.
May my life enhance my country's glory
As the flower enhances the garden's splendid revelry.
May I be as faithfully drawn to learning
As the moth is drawn to the candle's burning.
May my life be devoted to serving the needy
And to loving a sorrowful, ever suffering humanity.
Lead me away from the path of temptation.
O Lord, let truth alone be my destination.

An Indian Version of the Lords Prayer

(Use with caution)

"Great Spirit, whose tepee is the sky and whose hunting ground is the earth,
Mighty and fearful are you called.
Ruler over storms, over men and birds and beasts,
Have your way over all --
Over earthways as over skyways.
Find us this day our meat and corn, That we may be strong and brave.
And put aside from us our wicked ways as we put aside the bad works of them who do us wrong.
And let us not have such troubles as lead us into crooked roads,
But keep us from all evil,
For yours is all that Is --the earth and the sky; the streams, the hills and the valleys, the stars, the moon, and the sun, and all that live and breathe. Wonderful, shining, mighty Spirit."
-- Thanks to Arthur F. Giere

Silent Observance

May we observe a moment of silent prayer, each in his own faith.

The following are from Kathie Seaverns

World Hunger Grace

For food in a world where many walk in hunger,
For faith in a world where many walk in fear,
For frineds ina world where many walk alone,
We give you humble thanks, oh Lord.

A Christian Prayer

Great Spirit, who has blessed the Earth that it should be fruuitful and bring forth whatsoever is needful for the life of man, and hast commanded us to work with quietness and eat our own bread; Bless the labors of those who till the fields and grant such seasonable weather that we may gather in the fruits of the earth.
-- Adapted from The Book of Common Prayer

A Jewish Prayer

God of the World, I stand before you and before my neighbors - pardoning, forgiving, struggling to be open to all who have hurt and angered me. Be this hurt of body or soul, of honor or property, whether they were forced to hurt me or did so willingly, whether by accident or intent, whether by word or deed
- I forgive them because we are human...I am ready to take upon myself the commandment, Love your neighbor as yourself.
- Levi Yitchak of Beditschev

A Buddhist Prayer

May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness;
this is immeasurable loving kindness;

May all things be liberated from suffering and the causes of suffering;
this is immeasurable compassion;

May all beings be free of suffering and always stay happy;
this is immeasurable joy;

May all things be free of grasping and aversion toward others, and develop faith in the equality of all beings;
this is immeasurable equanimity.
-The Four Immeasurable Vows, Tantric Buddhism

A Navajo Prayer

Before me peaceful
Behind me peaceful
Under me peaceful
Over me peaceful
Around me peaceful
-Navajo prayer

A Muslim Prayer

Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the ground. -Rumi, a 7th century Sufi mystic

Resources

Kaufman, William Irving, 1922-

UNICEF book of children's prayers, compiled and with photos. by William I Kaufman. Prepared for English-reading children by Rosamond V.P. Kaufman and Joan Gilbert Van Poznak. (Harrisburg, Pa.) Stackpole Books <1970> 95 p. illus. 24 cm. His Children's favorites around the world) Summary: Fifty-one prayers and devotional poems from all over the world. Illustrated with photographs of children from many countries.

Comments: Clear, simple prayers, but acceptable for any age.

Armstrong, Oscar Vance, 1876-

Prayer poems, compiled by O. V. and Helen Armstrong. Freeport, N.Y., Books for Libraries Press <1969, c1942> 256 p. 21 cm. (Granger index reprint series)

Comments: Includes Whittier, Longfellow, Author Unknown, various books of the Bible, and others. They are grouped according to occasion and/or object of the prayer, such as prayers from or for teachers, and morning prayers.

Marshall, Peter, 1902-1949.

Prayers; edited and with prefaces by Catherine Marshall. New York, McGraw-Hill <1954> 243 p. illus. 21 cm.

Comments: Peter Marshall was a Scottish immigrant who eventually became pastor of one of the largest churches in Washington DC & chaplain of the Senate. This has "Before a National Election", "To Change the Spiritual Climate of the World", and "For Our Young People", among many others.

Jones, Jessie Mae (Orton).

This is the way; prayers and precepts from world religions. Illustrated by Elizabeth Orton Jones. New York, Viking Press, <1966, c1951> 62 p. ill. 23 x 26 cm.

Comments: Not exactly prayers, rather these show a way of living. For instance, Sikh: "None is mine enemy; none an outsider. All are my brethern" and Hindu: "Together walk ye."

"Let's Celebrate" subtitle: a grab bag of spiritual ideas for Scouting, an interdenominational Christian book; published by National Council of Boy Scouts of Canada, 1974.

"Eagles Soaring High" subtitle: Trail worship for Christians and Jews; published by Philmont, no date, BSA number(?) 5-877

"Pathways to Worship" pub Commission for Church and Youth Service Agencies, 1986


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