Native American Prayers
Traditional worship practices are a part of Native American tribal gatherings with dance, rhythm, songs and trance. Sacred narratives and beliefs are deeply based in Nature and are rich with the symbolism of seasons, weather, plants, animals, earth, water, sky and fire. The principle of an all embracing, universal and omniscient Great Spirit, a connection to the Earth, diverse creation narratives and collective memories of ancient ancestors are common among tribes. 1
A Native American Prayer for Peace
O Great Spirit of our Ancestors, I raise my pipe to you.
To your messengers the four winds,
and to Mother Earth who provides for your children.
Give us the wisdom to teach our children to love, to respect,
and to be kind to each other so that they may grow with peace in mind.
Let us learn to share all the good things you provide for us on this Earth.
-- U.N. Day of Prayer for World Peace 2
Cheyenne Prayer for Peace
Let us know peace.
For as long as the moon shall rise,
For as long as the rivers shall flow,
For as long as the sun shall shine,
For as long as the grass shall grow,
Let us know peace.
-- Cheyenne Prayer
The Great Spirit
The Great Spirit is in all things, He is in the air we breathe.
The Great Spirit is our Father, but the Earth is our Mother.
She nourishes us, that which we put into the ground, She returns to us...
-- Big Thunder (Bedagi) - Wabanaki Algonquin
Grandfather, Great Spirit, once more behold me on earth and lean to hear my feeble voice.
You lived first, and you are older than all need, older than all prayer.
All things belong to you -- the two-legged, the four-legged, the wings of the air, and all green things that live.
You have set the powers of the four quarters of the earth to cross each other.
You have made me cross the good road and road of difficulties, and where they cross, the place is holy.
Day in, day out, forevermore, you are the life of things.
Hey! Lean to hear my feeble voice.
At the center of the sacred hoop
You have said that I should make the tree to bloom.
With tears running, O Great Spirit, my Grandfather,
With running eyes I must say
The tree has never bloomed
Here I stand, and the tree is withered.
Again, I recall the great vision you gave me.
It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives.
Nourish it then
That it may leaf
And fill with singing birds!
Hear me, that the people may once again
Find the good road
And the shielding tree.
-- Black Elk 3
The mountains, I become a part of it…
The herbs, the fir tree, I become a part of it.
The morning mists, the clouds, the gathering waters,
I become a part of it.
The wilderness, the dew drops, the pollen…
I become a part of it
-- Navajo Chant
Grandfather Great Spirit
All over the world the faces of living ones are alike.
With tenderness they have come up out of the ground
Look upon your children that they may face the winds
And walk the good road to the Day of Quiet.
Grandfather Great Spririt
Fill us with the Light.
Give us the strength to understand, and the eyes to see.
Teach us to walk the soft Earth as relatives to all that live.
-- Sioux Prayer
Native American Prayer
Give us the wisdom to teach our children to love, to respect and to be kind to one another that we may grow with peace in mind.
- Native American Prayer
Oh Great Spirit, Creator of all things;
Human Beings, trees, grass, berries.
Help us, be kind to us.
Let us be happy on earth.
Let us lead our children
To a good life and old age.
These our people; give them good minds
To love one another.
Oh Great Spirit,
Be kind to us
Give these people the favor
To see green trees,
Green grass, flowers, and berries
This next spring;
So we all meet again
Oh Great Spirit,
We ask of you.
-- Mohawk Prayer
Cover my earth mother four times with many flowers.
Let the heavens be covered with the banked-up clouds.
Let the earth be covered with fog; cover the earth with rains.
Great waters, rains, cover the earth. Lighting cover the earth.
Let thunder be heard over the earth; let thunder be heard;
Let thunder be heard over the six regions of the earth.
-- Zuni Prayer for Rain
May All I Say
May all I say and all I think
be in harmony with thee,
God within me,
God beyond me,
maker of the trees.
-- Chinook prayer, Pacific Northwest Coast, North America
May the sun bring you new energy by day,
may the moon softly restore you by night,
may the rain wash away your worries,
may the breeze blow new strength into your being,
may you walk gently through the world and
know it's beauty all the days of your life.
-- Apache Blessing
Teach us love, compassion,
That we may heal the earth
And heal each other.
-- Ojibway Prayer
What is Life
What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across the grass
and loses itself in the sunset.
-- Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior and orator
Quotes and Inspirations
Treat the earth well. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
-- Native American Proverb
In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.
-- From The Great Law of The Iroquois Confederacy
There can never be peace between nations
Until it is first known that true peace is within the souls of men.
-- Oglala Sioux
We are all flowers in the Great Spirit's garden. We share a common root, and the root is Mother Earth.
-- Hopi Prophecy
When we Indians kill meat, we eat it all up.... When we build houses, we make little holes. When we burn grass for grasshoppers, we don't ruin things. We shake down acorns and pinenuts. We don't chop down the trees.
-- Wintu Indian, quoted in Julian Burger, The Gaia Atlas of First Peoples, 1990
Man did not weave the web of life - he is merely a strand in it.
Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
-- Chief Seattle, 1854 treaty oration
This is the Earth, healed again, growing green and blue.
I want you to remember this exactly as it is,
and then go and tell the people that if enough of us
hold this image in their minds, we can heal the Earth
and make it like it was a long time ago.
-- Grandfather Rolling Thunder, Cherokee Medicine Elder
You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground they spit upon themselves.
This we know. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.
-- Chief Seattle
Sunset. Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.
And I say the sacred hoop of my people was one of the many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy...
But anywhere is the center of the world.
-- Black Elk 3