THE SEVEN SACRED PRAYS
Noel Knockwood, B.A.Elder
O Great Spirit, who art before all else and who dwells in every object, in every person and in every place, we cry unto Thee. We summon Thee from the far places into our present awareness.
O Great Spirit of the North, who gives wings to the waters of the air and rolls the thick snowstorm before Thee, Who covers the Earth with a sparkling crystal carpet above whose deep tranquillity every sound is beautiful. Temper us with strength to withstand the biting blizzards, yet make us thankful for the beauty which follows and lies deep over the warm Earth in its wake.
O Great Spirit of the East, the land of the rising Sun, Who holds in Your right hand the years of our lives and in Your left the opportunities of each day. Brace us that we may not neglect our gifts nor lose in laziness the hopes of each day and the hopes of each year.
O Great Spirit of the South, whose warm breath of compassion melts the ice that gathers round our hearts, whose fragrance speaks of distant springs and summer days, dissolve our fears, melt our hatreds, kindle our love into flames of true and living realities. Teach us that he who is truly strong is also kind, he who is wise tempers justice with mercy, he who is truly brave matches courage with compassion.
O Great Spirit of the West, the land of the setting Sun, with Your soaring mountains and free, wide rolling prairies, bless us with knowledge of the peace which follows purity of striving and the freedom which follows like a flowing robe in the winds of a well_disciplined life. Teach us that the end is better than the beginning and that the setting sun glorifies not in vain.
O Great Spirit of the heavens, in the day's infinite blue and amid the countless stars of the night season, remind us that you are vast, that you are beautiful and majestic beyond all of our knowing or telling, but also that you are no further from us than the tilting upwards of our heads and the raising of our eyes.
O Great Spirit of Mother Earth beneath our feet, Master of metals, Germinator of seeds and the Storer of the Earth's unreckoned resources, help us to give thanks unceasingly for Your present bounty.
O Great Spirit of our souls, burning in our heart's yearning and in our innermost aspirations, speak to us now and always so that we may be aware of the greatness and goodness of Your gift of life and be worthy of this priceless privilege of living.
Our religion seems foolish to you, but so does yours to me. The Baptists and Methodists and Presbyterians and the Catholics all have a different God. Why cannot we have one of our own?
Sitting Bull,Hunkpapa Lakota, 1889