Oct 6, 2014

Native American Prayer

A few years ago we went to a festival where we got to meet some Native Americans from the Lakota Tribe.  They drove to Minnesota from a Reservation in South Dakota to share some of their heritage with us.  First of all, this is huge because white Minnesotans drove them out of here over 150 years ago during the US-Dakota War of 1862.  That they would come back with kindness, not bitterness, forgiveness, not anger and educate us....that just blew me away.  

I was so touched by the gentleness and humbleness of these men.  I was almost in tears when they taught us to pray the Lakota Prayer.  I wanted to know more and more, so I did some research.  I found this site that helped me better understand what many of the Native tribes meant when they speak of The Great Spirit.  

After reading this prayer titled, "Great Spirit", I wrote it down in my journal to keep so that I could meditate on the simplicity of the words and pureness of the heart behind the prayer.  I'm not very good at praying, my words often get jumbled, I loose my thought process, my mind wanders.  But when I pray this prayer, my heart cries, "YES!  Me too!" 

One day I believe God will redeem all things; relationships between people groups, the land, the animals and all of humanity.  Until that time, this will be my prayer.

Great Spirit

Great Spirit,
Give us hearts to understand;
Never to take from creation's beauty more than we give;
Never to destroy wantonly for the furtherance of greed;
Never to deny to give our hands for the building of earth's beauty;
Never to take from her what we cannot use.

Give us hearts to understand
That to destroy earth's music is to create confusion;
That to wreck her appearance is to blind us to beauty;
That to callously pollute her fragrance is to make a house of stench;
That as we care for her, she will care for us.

We have forgotten who we are.
We have sought only our own security.
We have exploited simply for our own ends.
We have distorted our knowledge.
We have abused our power.

Great Spirit whose dry lands thirst, help us find a way to refresh your lands.

Great Spirit whose waters are chocked with debris and pollution, help us find a way to cleanse your waters

Great Spirit whose beautiful earth grows ugly with mis-use, help us find a way to restore beauty to your handiwork.

Great Spirit whose creatures are being destroyed, help us find a way to replenish them.

Great Spirit whose gifts are being lost in selfishness and corruption, help us find the way to restore our humanity. 

Great Spirit Prayer By Big Thunder - Late 19th Century Algonquin



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