Praying for Peace: Open my eyes to the next thing …

Two dozen men and women prayed together for peace—without ever meeting—and created this prayer for the world. They followed John Philip Newell’s call in Praying for Peace and each contributed lines beginning with the words, “Open my eyes to …” Collected here, they form a litany that we invite you to pray with us. (A second litany, today, was created by 16 women from the WISDOM interfaith network.)

The litany, below, was created by men and women from the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit—and by readers of ReadTheSpirit online magazine. Like the WISDOM women, these writers began their notes invoking God in many ways and by many names. Feel free to open your own version of this prayer with an invocation from your tradition.

Open My Eyes to the Next Thing I Must Do

By Ecumenical Theological Seminary and readers of ReadTheSpirit

Open my eyes to …
The Spirit of God dwelling within and enlivening
all creation and created beings.
The faithful cycle of seasons,
renewing the Earth year after year.
Babies born, love exploding.
Parents who guide us into the world.
Teachers who light the way for each new generation.
Friendships that cross lines of culture, religion and race.
Friendships that sustain us through a long life.
Open my eyes to the world as You see it.

Open my eyes to …
Injustice in the world.
Injustice within myself.
The hidden corners of life.
Details no one else wants to touch.
The suffering within my community.
The needs of my brothers and sisters.

Open my eyes to …
Look beyond the obvious, the jaded, the seductive.
Understand the needs of those who would harm others.
See the dignity of every person I encounter.
Appreciate the gift of each moment that I am alive.

Open my eyes to …
What true peace on God’s earth would mean to all of God’s children.
The face of God in all humanity.
Your beauty and grace in all people.
The wonderment of your Presence that I may see that which my heart longs for in You.
The wonder at God’s glory in every strand of life and every particle of creation so that I might know, and share, God’s love in the world.

Open my eyes to …
See Your face in the face of others.
Spark goodness in each person I meet.
Accept differences.
Experience the holy that surrounds me.
Learn to love one another.

Open my eyes to …
Recognize the next step.
Act on the next thing I must do.

SPECIAL THANKS TO Nausheen Baghdadi, the Barner family, Marcia Fairrow, Rob and Sally Ferree, Sarah Heidt, Carol Ingells, Denise Jacob, MizMadlin Jones, Kay Jenkins, Karen LeCarpentier, Diane Jonas Locker, Colleen Lough, Kathleen Mackie, Dianne Van Marter, Elmorie Miller, Carrie Orlando, Toula Patsalis, Susan Reepmeyer, Diane Schultz, Constance Simon, Earline Vaughn, Margaret Wallin, Diane White.

IF YOU DID NOT SEE YOUR CONTRIBUTION IN THIS PRAYER, we apologize. Readers flooded us with responses this week. We are carefully collecting and weaving together these responses to share with readers. We will share more next week. Feel free to email us at [email protected]

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Originally published at, an online journal covering religion and cultural diversity.

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