Praying with the Religions of the World

Next, seven prayer leaders were introduced on stage for the SOPP’s core program, Praying with the Religions of the World. This unique prayer ceremony brings together prayer leaders from different faiths and spiritual traditions to lead all participants in prayers for peace from their own traditions, sending a powerful message of interfaith harmony and unity. Each prayer leader offered a prayer on their own first, and then participants were invited to join in praying a shorter prayer.


Fr. Alexander Varickamackal(Christianity—Catholicism)
Director of the Jesuit Spirituality Center at Nagatsuka in Hiroshima

Spoken by Fr. Varickamackal in Japanese

Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Come, O Holy Spirit come!
From your bright and blissful home, rays of healing light impart.
Come, Father of the poor, Source of gifts that will endure, Light of every human heart.
You, of all Consolers best, of the soul, most kindly Guest, quickening courage do bestow.
In hard labor You are rest, in the heat You refresh best, and solace give in our woe.
O most blessed Light divine, let your radiance in us shine, and our inmost being fill.
Nothing good by man is thought, nothing right by him is wrought, when he spurns your gracious will.
Cleanse our souls from sinful strain,
Lave our dryness with Your rain,
Heal our wounds and mend our way.
Bend the stubborn heart and will,
Melt the frozen, warm the chill,
Guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful who in You,
Trust with childlike piety,
Deign Your sevenfold gift to send.
Give them virtue’ s rich increase,
Saving grace to die in peace,
Give them joys that never end. Amen.

Spoken by all in English

God of Love, Your Kingdom Come.
God of Light, Your Kingdom Come.
God of Life, Your Kingdom Come.
God of Peace, Your Kingdom Come.
God of Joy, Your Kingdom Come.


Mr. Mark N. Zion(Judaism)
Associate Professor at Tama University, Japan

Spoken by Mr. Zion in Hebrew

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd; I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures: He leads me to water in places of repose;
He renews my life; He guides me in the right paths, as befits His name.
Though I walk through a valley of deepest darkness
I fear no harm, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff — they comfort me.
You spread a table before me in full view of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; my drink is abundant.
Only goodness and steadfast love shall pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for many years.

Yedid Nefesh —Beloved of the Soul
Merciful father, Beloved of the Soul
Like a heart will Your servant run
To bow before Your Glory
Your friendship will be tastier
Than nectar or any other taste.

Sung by all in Hebrew

He who makes peace in His high places,
May He make peace for us,
And for all Israel,
Let us say, Amen.
May he make peace, may he make peace,
Peace for us and for all Israel,
May he make peace, may he make peace,
Peace for us and for all Israel.


Imam Muhammed Rasit Alas(Islam)
Imam at Tokyo Camii (Mosque) and Turkish Cultural Center

Sung by Imam Alas in Arabic

Call to prayer
God is the Greatest.
I bear witness that there is no god but Allah.
I bear witness that Muhammed is the messenger of God.
Come to the prayer. Come to success.
God is the greatest.
There is no god but Allah.

The Chambers, no. 13
O mankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (not that you may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is that believer who is the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted with all things.

Spoken by all in Japanese

O, Allah! We see peace and tranquility in the world. Please bestow these on us.


Mr. Takayuki Shionoya(Shintoism)
Chief Priest of Chichibu Imamiya Shrine

Spoken by Mr. Shionoya in Japanese

Prayer for World Peace
In the presence of the Great Deities in heaven whom I look up to from the Fuji Sanctuary, I utter these words with humility and reverence.
Since the time when heaven and earth were separated, lands were created by deities, and the history of mankind began, it has always been the deities’ wish that the world should be at peace. But sadly, the present world is filled with conflicts among both nations and human beings. Humanity continues to wage war and commit various crimes or impure doings.
Now, on this auspicious day, people of the world, worrying about this lamentable situation, get together and pray together for peace and happiness, by means of various prayers passed down from our ancestors.
O Great Deities, please watch over our sincere prayers. We unite our hands and hearts and pray for peace, harmony, and mutual benefit, for the creation of a world free of illnesses and calamities. O Great Deities, please listen to our prayers in peace and tranquility. May the world be calm and beautiful like a morning sea, and may peace and happiness manifest on Earth.

Spoken by all in Japanese

Cleanse and purify us.
Protect and bless us.


Mr. Emmyo Shishio(Buddhism)
Chief Priest of Tendaishu Jyuryoin Temple

Spoken by Mr. Shishio in Japanese

This is a waka poem written by Dengyô Daishi Saichô (founder of the Tendai Buddhist sect) some 1,200 years ago.
It is said that Sakyamuni Buddha’s next manifestation as Maitreya Buddha will appear in 5.6 billion years. Wishing to convey the Buddhist mind and a feeling of peace until that far distant time, Dengyô Daishi Saichô lit Buddha’s light before the wooden statue of Yakushi Nyorai, the Buddha of healing, that he himself had carved. Since that time, for over 1,200 years, the light has continued to shine in the main hall of Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple in Kyoto. This immortal light of Buddha is a gentle light that guides us in a good direction and urges us away from wicked thoughts.
As we look at the world today, it is filled with realities that make us want to cover our eyes. On what should we base our actions, and what should we aim for and work toward? The teachings of Buddha are a light of hope that gently embraces our unceasing insecurities. Just as the lamp has watched over us for 1,200 years, we must forever maintain a heart of peace and continue practicing the Buddhist teachings. In this way, I firmly believe that we can realize a society in which all people live peacefully, with abundance of heart.

Spoken by all in Japanese

The light of Buddha, representing the teachings of the Lotus Sutra,
Keep this light shining throughout the world,
Until the age of darkness is past and Buddha manifests again.


Rev. Genzo Makino(Hinduism)
Hindu spiritual leader

Sung by Rev. Makino in Sanskrit

Oh Divine Mother,
our hearts are surrounded by darkness.
Please lead us away from this darkness
by nurturing the illumination within us.
Peace, Peace, Peace—Peace to the body, mind and soul.

Spoken by all in Sanskrit

May all the beings of all the worlds be blissful!
Peace, Peace, Peace—Peace to the body, mind and soul.

(Rev. Makino’s prayers were accompanied by Mr. Masashi Asazuma playing the harmonium.)


Lastly, Masami Saionji, Chairperson of Byakko Shinko Kai, read a poem called “Creation of the Universe” and then led participants in the prayer May peace prevail on Earth.

Spoken by Mrs. Saionji in Japanese

Creation of the Universe
When we quiet our mind and pray, we feel the prayerful life of all living things.
Our prayers become the energy of love and healing, embracing the Earth, humanity, and all living things, and bringing all back to life.
The creation of a new planet Earth begins.
Even when human beings forget to pray, the earth, the seas,
the mountains, and all living things go on praying
For the time when humanity will awaken.
When we quiet our mind and pray, we feel the prayerful life of all living things.
Our prayers become light, illuminating the divinity in each and every human being.
At that time, the Earth, humanity, all life and all living things become one,
And a new symphony of life resonates with the Universe.

Spoken by all in Japanese and English

May peace prevail on Earth.
May peace prevail on Earth.
May peace prevail on Earth.
May peace prevail on Earth.
May peace prevail on Earth.
May peace prevail on Earth.
May peace prevail on Earth.

Comments are closed.