Since our founding in 2007, ReadTheSpirit has encouraged prayer for peace in our world. Our earlier effort, launched after a May 2011 conversation with Celtic-Christian writer John Philip Newell asked readers to begin prayers with the line, “Open my eyes to …”
NOW, in a new interview with John Philip that will be published on Wednesday, we discussed the ever-growing interest in that earlier form of prayer. And, we discussed starting a new kind of prayer in light of the looming 10th anniversary of “9/11.”
The new effort encourages everyone to complete this line: “I hope for a world where …”
Why “hope”? Because we all regard hope as a virtue, whatever our faith may be. For Christians, who comprise the vast majority of the U.S. population, hope is listed among three core virtues. In First Corinthians, chapter 13, Paul writes: “For now we see in a mirror darkly—but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part—then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. Now faith, hope, and love abide, these three—and the greatest of these is love.”
Why refer to the “world”? Because, despite a lot of Christian preaching about evil in the world these days, there is a strong 2,000-year-old tradition in Christianity—and in Judaism even before that—teaching that God’s creation is basically good. Our role is to repair this world—and to become people of compassion.
Why now? Rather than focus solely on the pain of the “9/11” anniversary—and rather than allowing some angry activists to fuel even more anger—this kind of prayer aims our intentions toward a better future.
BEGIN A PRAYER WITH:
“I HOPE FOR A WORLD WHERE …”
THIS IS EASY!
Simply complete that 1 line,
then email your response to [email protected]
We plan to assemble these lines into prayers we can publish for readers just as we did in our earlier effort with the phrase “Open my eyes to …”
Some peace activists already are gathering lines for the new prayer. WISDOM, the women’s network behind our Friendship and Faith project, produced a memorable prayer using the earlier “Open my eyes to …” phrase. WISDOM now distributes that prayer they assembled from many lines from many different people. That WISDOM prayer has been used in congregations in Sunday worship and in other settings.
WISDOM already is collecting responses to this new phrase.
Here are a few they have collected so far …
I hope for a world where …
… children grow up feeling safe.
… children are loved by, not only their own family, but by families around the world.
… we celebrate our differences as well as our similarities.
… we put the needs of others before our own.
… we join hands to feed our hungry.
How do YOU finish the line? “I hope for a world where …”
Simply complete that 1 line and email your response to [email protected]
Care to read our new stories with John Philip Newell this week?
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Originally published at readthespirit.com, an online journal covering religion and cultural diversity.