As a missionary from Spain explored an island, he chanced upon three Aztec priests. Curious, the missionary asked, “How do you pray?” One of the Aztecs replied, “We have but one prayer. We declare: ‘O God, you are triune, just as we are three. Have mercy on us!'” Impressed, the missionary said, “That’s a beautiful prayer. But allow me to teach you another that, in my faith, resonates deeper.”
The Tongues in Which God Listens
Thus, he shared with them a prayer from the Catholic tradition and continued his evangelical mission.
Years later, while journeying back to his homeland of Spain, the missionary once again passed near the island. To his astonishment, he saw the three priests on the shore, who upon recognizing him, began walking on water toward him.
One cried out, “Father, please remind us of the prayer you taught; we’ve forgotten it!” Witnessing the miracle, the missionary humbly responded, “I see that’s not necessary. I apologize for not realizing sooner that God hears in all tongues.”
Below, we feature prayers from various traditions:
Dhammapada (attributed to Buddha)
Instead of a thousand hollow words, I desire one that brings serenity.
Instead of a thousand meaningless verses, I yearn for one revealing beauty.
Instead of a thousand forgettable tunes, I crave one that spreads joy.
Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, 13th Century
Beyond right and wrong, there’s an uncharted space. We’ll meet there.
Prophet Muhammad, 7th Century
O Allah! I beseech You, for You possess absolute knowledge. If my current deeds benefit my faith and my present and future existence, ease my path and bless my actions. If what I undertake is harmful, steer me away.
Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 7:7-8
Ask, and it shall be given unto you.
Seek earnestly, and you shall find.
Knock with sincerity, and doors shall be opened.
For all who truly ask, receive; those who search with heart, find; and to those who knock with faith, they are welcomed.
Jewish Prayer for Peace
Let’s ascend the Creator’s mountain and walk beside Him. Turn our weapons into farming tools and our enmity into love. May no nation raise its weapon against another, and may the art of war be forgotten. Let peace and brotherhood reign among neighbors, as decreed by the Divine.
Lao Tzu, China – 6th Century B.C.
For there to be peace in the world, nations must live harmoniously.
For nations to be at peace, cities must respect one another.
For cities to coexist peacefully, neighbors must understand each other.
For neighbors to live in harmony, families must be bound in love.
For peace to reign at home, each individual must find it in their own heart.