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An Indian Prayer


by H. Kent Craig


My grandfather is the fire

My grandmother is the wind

The Earth is my mother

The Great Spirit is my father


The World stopped at my birth

and laid itself at my feet


And I shall swallow the Earth whole when I die

and the Earth and I will be one


Hail The Great Spirit, my father

without him no one could exist

because there would be no will to live


Hail The Earth, my mother

without which no food could be grown

and so cause the will to live to starve


Hail the wind, my grandmother

for she brings loving, lifegiving rain

nourishing us as she nourishes our crops


Hail the fire, my grandfather

for the light, the warmth, the comfort he brings

without which we be animals, not men


Hail my parent and grandparents

without which

not I

nor you

nor anyone else

could have existed


Life gives life

which gives unto itself

a promise of new life


Hail the Great Spirit, The Earth, the wind, the fire

praise my parents loudly

for they are your parents, too


Oh, Great Spirit, giver of my life

please accept this humble offering of prayer

this offering of praise

this honest reverence of my love for you.


Oh Great Spirit,

Whose voice I hear in the wind,

Whose breath gives life to the world,

Hear me!

I come to you as one of your many children.

I am small and weak.

I need your strength and wisdom.

May I walk in beauty.

Make my eyes behold the red and purple sunset.

Make my hands respect the things that you have made,

And my ears sharp to hear your voice.

Make me wise so that I may know the things

That you have taught your children--

The lessons that you have hidden in every leaf and rock.

Make me strong, not to be superior to my brothers, but to be

able to fight my greatest enemy: myself.

Make me ever ready to come to you with straight eyes, so that

When life fades as the faded sunset

My spirit will come to you without shame.

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