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Prayers of Light

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Hinduism

Oh gracious Light
In the sun,
In the beauty of the sun,
In its form and formlessness,
In its tongues of flame,
In its flame within the flame,
In the sheaves of solar rays,
In the focused light of the sun,
In its radiating light!
Oh Light Who becoming one
With the core of the light
And the light of the light,
Dance therein most auspiciously!
Oh my Sire, Oh my Kind
Who, on that night in the past,
Came and bestowed on me
The Light of Grace!
Oh Wise One! Oh, Ambrosia!
Oh Lover! Oh Bliss! Oh Father!
Oh Gracious One!
Oh Delight of my life
Which has sought You!
Oh Unique One! Oh Pure One!
Oh my Friend!
Oh Treasure of Pure, Blissful, True Path.
Oh my Spouse, Nataraajaa,
The Great Effulgence of Grace!

~ St. Ramalingam

Judaism

O Living God, we thank Thee that Thou hast not left us
to grope after Thee in the dark; that Thy law has been
a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path.
In this harvest season, when Thy people had gathered in
their crops, Thy law did enjoin upon them to leave
their homes and make their abode in frail booths.
Thus didst Thou remind them of the transient nature
of earthly possessions, of the insecurity of a life
stayed on prosperity without faith in Thee.

Vouchsafe unto us, too, O Father, an understanding
of this truth, so that no arrogance may tarnish the joy
of success, no self-exaltation debase the love of achievement.
Teach us to be humble; keep far from us the pride of
possession and the despair of want.
In poverty save us, O God, from bitterness; in abundance
rescue us from self-indulgence.
Incline our hearts unto Thee and keep us from covetousness.
Kindle within us a passion for a better world.
Enlarge our sympathies, make us eager to ease the sorrow
and distress of others and thus learn to know the joy of service.
Lift up our eyes that, like our fathers, we too may see through
the leafy booth, the light of sun and star, so that our souls
may soar to Thee.

~ Pray for the Feast of Tabernacles

Shinto

Like unto the Sun’s bright light, eternal,
Shining from above the skies—
Bless, Oh Goddess, with thy care supernal,
Generations yet to rise!

~ Emperor Gonara

Taoism

See the small and develop clear vision.
Practice yielding and develop strength.
Use the outer light to return to the inner light,
And save yourself from harm.

~ Lao Tsu

Buddhism

O Amitabha, light with equal . . .
O Amitabha, infinite splendor . . .
so pure and so calm . . .
so sweet and so consoling . . .
How we desire to be reborn with thee!
Thou whose power is without limits . . .
Thou toward whom the beings of all the worlds turn,
How beautiful is thy kingdom, where the breeze sows
flowers under the feet of the blessed . . .
How we desire to be reborn with thee!
How beautiful is thy kingdom, where the finest music
resounds, where the most precious perfumes rise,
where all beings are saints . . .
How we desire to be reborn with thee!
Foolishly, during numberless existences, we have
renewed the karma which binds us to the earth.
Oh! Guard us henceforth, sweet light, so that we lose
no more the wisdom of the heart!
We exalt thy knowledge and thy works; we desire that all
may go to thee, that no obstacle may prevent any being
from being reborn in peace and happiness with you!

~ In Praise of Amitabha, composed by Master Zheying
(South Song Dynasty)

 

Christianity

Lord, the day is already waning, stay with us.
Stay to illuminate our doubts and fears.
Stay so that we may fortify our light with yours.
Stay to help us be strong and generous.
Stay so that in a world that has little faith and hope
We may be able to encourage one another to sow
faith and hope.
Stay so that we, too, may learn from you to be
the light for other people and for the world.

~ Pope John Paul II from “Talking to God”

Islam

O God, give me light in my heart
And light in my tomb,
And light in my hearing and light in my sight,
And light in my feeling and light in all my body,
And light before me and light behind me,
And light on my right hand and light on my left hand,
And light above me and light beneath me.
O Lord, increase light within me,
And give me light, and illuminate me.

~ Ali ibn Abu Talib (4th caliph of Muhammad)

Sikhism

The Lord put His light in this body, and so it came
into the world.
Yes, it came into the world when the Lord illumined
the mind with His light.
The Lord Himself is the Father and Mother, who created
creatures so that they might see the world.
When one realizes the reality, by the Grace of the Guru,
one comes to know that that this world is mere show.
Sayeth Nanak: Thus the Lord created the universe, putting
His light in every being.

~ Guru Amar Das

African Faiths

O Sun,
As you rise in the east through God’s leadership,
Wash away all the evils I have thought of throughout the night.
Bless me, so that my enemies will not kill me and my family;
Guide me through hard work.
O God, give me mercy upon our children who are suffering.
Bring riches today as the sun rises;
Bring all fortunes to me today.

~ Luyia from Kenya

Native American Faiths

From the great rock I see it, the Daybreak Star,
the sign of the dawning;
Above the mountain it rises and my heart dances.
Now the light comes, the light that makes me one with all life.
Like the tinamou I am, who sings in the dawn, who is
humble with love,
Who walks in the circle of the greater love and the
greater power.
Let me be like a ray of light, like a flower blazing with light,
like the waterfall laughing with light, like the great tree also,
mighty in its roots that split the rocks, mighty in its head
that reaches the sky,
And its leaves catch the light and sing with the wind a song
of the circle.

Let my life be like the rainbow, whose colors teach us unity;
Let me follow always the great circle, the roundness
of power, one with the moon and the sun, and the ripple
of waters, following the sacred way of honor, a guide and
protector to the weak, a rock of strength in my word
that shall say no evil, no lie nor deception.

Let me be like the otter, so loyal to his mate he will die for her,
so strong to his children they obey him as the shadows obey
the sun;
And let me remember always the Great One, the Lord of the
Dawning, whose voice whispers to me in the breeze, whose
words come to me out of all the circles of life, and whose
command is like the thunder:
“Be kind, be kind, be brave, be brave, be pure, be pure,
Be humble as the earth, and be radiant as the sunlight.”

~ Guaymi from Panama

Other Known Faiths: Spiritual

I believe Thee to be the best of all, the source of light
For the whole world.
Everyone shall choose Thee as the source of light.
O most beneficent spirit, Divine Being,
For Thou, O Lord, shall be unto us as the everlasting light.

~ Zend- Avesta (Zoroastrian scripture)

Other Known Faiths: Secular

Festival of Light

This is the festival, the festival of Light.
Sing for the candles burning brightly through the night.
Sing for the light of God that guides our destiny.
Sing for the light of love that builds community.

Sing for the Wise Ones, men and women who
Light up our way with visions that are true.
Sing for our children who are candles of the dawn,
Giving us the promise that our light will carry on.

This is the Festival, The Festival of Light
Sing for the Love that shall make this world ignite.
A Flame with a beauty that awaits in every heart,
Sing for the Will that can make that fire start.

Follow the light that leads within us to the birth
Of love and harmony and peace for all upon the Earth.
We are the Festival, We are the Light
We are the candles burning brightly in the night.

~ Milenko