The following are the names of those who participated in the recent National Day of Prayer event here at our Home Office in Louisville, KY.
The faiths are listed in alphabetical order, followed by the name of their represenative who was present and then the text of the prepared prayer they spoke.
1 – Baha’i Faith
Nancy Harris, Member, Baha’is of Louisville, KY
“…all mankind are the children of one Father. God has created them, and they are the recipients of His compassion. Therefore, if anyone offends another, he offends God. … The obstacle to human happiness is racial or religious prejudice, the competitive struggle for existence and inhumanity toward each other.
… You must look to God, for He is the real Shepherd, and all humanity are His sheep. He loves them and loves them equally… should the sheep quarrel among themselves? . . . Be a helper to every helpless one, and manifest kindness to your fellow creatures in order that ye may attain the good pleasure of God. This is conducive to the illumination of the world of humanity and eternal felicity for yourselves.”
2 – Buddhism
Geshe Sangay and Geshe Rapgyal, Drepung Gomang Institute, Louisville, KY
“Let us cultivate love and compassion, both of which give true meaning to life. This is the religion I preach, more so than Buddhism itself. It is simple. Its temple is the heart. Its teaching is love and compassion. Its moral values are loving and respecting others, whoever they may be. Whether one is a layperson or a monastic, we have no other option if we wish to survive in this world.” His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso
3 – Christianity
Reverend Marian McClure Taylor, Executive Director, Kentucky Council of Churches, Lexington, KY
“With trembling we approach you, O God, to ask for compassionate hearts and lives. We tremble because in your Son, Jesus Christ, you show us where the path of compassion can lead. In him you celebrated friends, and you grieved their deaths. You healed, and told the truth, but you were slandered. In him you basked in a mother’s love, even as you faced torment and death. In perfect compassion, you touched and redeemed the whole of our human condition. Give us gratitude, and grace to reciprocate by pouring ourselves out for the sake of this world you love. Amen.”
4 – Hinduism
Johnny Alse, Hindu Temple of Kentucky, Louisville, KY
“The Hindu concept of Ahimsa reminds us that non-violence is more than simply the absence of violent action. Ahimsa literally means “absence of the desire to kill or harm” any creature. We must learn to take creative action to remove those things that lead to violence: injustice, poverty, hunger, and repression. Ahimsa includes an attitude of creative non-violence toward all creation, not just humans but also our animal companions and the entire environment.”
5 – Islam
G.A. Shareef, River Road Mosque and Cultural Center, Louisville, KY
“The Almighty Creator, in the Holy Qur’an, instructs humans on this planet Earth that there are, in the Universe, many other free-willed creatures prostrating in worship to the Creator. . .
. . . We the humans, should realize our compassionate responsibilities, organize ourselves throughout the planet, and help each other to assure that everyone’s basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, education and healthcare are met. . . .
. . . The reward of those who believe in the Creator, worship the Creator and compassionately fulfill the basic need of oneself and fellow humans, during this temporary stay on this Earth is paradise, a purely pleasurable living without the aging problem and only youthful existence.”
6 – Judaism
Rabbi Stanley Miles, Temple of Shalom, Louisville, KY
(Prayer on the Way)
7 – Native American
Marty Martin, Native American Intertribal Alliance, Louisville, KY
Great Spirit Prayer by Yellow Hawk, Sioux Chief
Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice we hear in the wind, whose breath gives life to all the world. Hear us; we need your strength and wisdom. . . Make our hands respect the things you have made and our ears sharp to hear your voice make us wise so that we may understand the things you have taught. . . . Help us seek pure thoughts and act with the intention of helping others. . . Make us always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes. So when life fades, as the fading sunset, our spirits may come to you without shame.
8 – Quakerism
Terry Taylor, Friends Meeting of Louisville, Louisville, KY
“Holy one, keep always within our minds and hearts the compassionate concept that “there is that of God in everyone…and everything,” a concept that is central to Quaker beliefs and practices. Help us to express this belief, not only through the pacifism for which Quakers are widely known, but also through compassionate actions You impel us to take each day to relieve the suffering of those around us.”
9 – Roman Catholicism
Father Martin Linebach, Ecumenical/Interreligious Officer for the Archdiocese of Louisville and Pastor of St. Patrick’s Church, Louisville, KY
“O Lord, You are the source of perfect compassion and eternal charity. We bring before you the distress and dangers of the people of our City – our Commonwealth – and our Country – and the peoples of every land and nation.
We lift up to You the pleas of the imprisoned and captive, the sorrows of the grief stricken, the needs of the refugee, the impotence of the weak, the weariness of the despondent, and the diminishment of the aging.
We ask You to quiet our lives so that we hear the cries of the hungry, the cold, the frightened, and the forgotten. We plead with You to inspire us so that we may see You in our brothers and sisters and become for them a source of healing, comfort and righteousness.
O Lord, open our hearts that we may love each other as You love us. Renew in us Your holy spirit.O Lord, free us and make us one. +Amen”
10 – Sikhism
Davinder Singh Brar, Sihkh Society of Kentucky, Louisville, KY
The Guru Granth Sahib, the holiest book of the Sikhs, is replete with the universal message of compassion and self-contentment. Compassion is the very fundamental principle of Sikhism. The following two lines in Japji Sahib sum up the very essence of Sikh Philosophy.
Ḏẖoul ḏẖaram ḏa▫i▫ā kā pūṯ.
Sanṯokẖ thāp rakẖi▫ā jin sūṯ. (Stanza 16, Japji)
This universal message contains two words: compassion (daya) and contentment (santokh). The righteousness is born out of compassion and contentment upholds the order of nature. The implication is: “Be compassionate to others; be satisfied within yourself!”
These two lines from the Sikh Scripture can practically improve our everyday living and keep us together within our community and rest of the world.
11 – Unitarian Universalism
The Rev. Elwood Sturtevant, Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church, Louisville, KY
“Gentle spirit of life, who blesses me with compassion for myself as well as for others, grant me the imagination to step outside the boundaries of my heart into the experience of others, the strength to hold love and wisdom carefully together, and the vision to keep sight of the beloved community which is my goal, that my life may help compose a growing harmony and a life-enhancing peace. So let it be.”