Prayer for Peace

If there is to be peace in the world,

There must be peace in the nations.

If there is to be peace in the nations,

There must be peace in the cities.

If there is to be peace in the cities,

There must be peace between neighbors.

If there is to be peace between neighbors,

There must be peace in the home.

If there is to be peace in the home,

There must be peace in the heart.

I recently came across this prayer and have spent hours thinking about it. In the world today, we so often hear the words “world peace.” I read this prayer and question whether world peace can ever be attained. I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but really, can it?

When I look at the written words of the above prayer, I look at it like a ladder. The last line is the bottom rung of the ladder. To reach the top, we must climb every rung of the ladder.

Personally, I’ve been battling with finding peace in my heart. My sister was murdered just over two years ago. I struggle with finding peace. The murderer was caught, found guilty and sentenced.

Still peace eludes me most days. It’s an unsettling time for me in this personal war of mine. That being said, I don’t, I won’t give up on making peace in my heart. I know, once I have peace in my heart, I will have peace in my home. I live alone, unless you count my dog, Chumlee, so peace at home should be attainable.

The next ladder rung, peace between neighbors will be a real struggle for me. My sister was murdered by a neighbor. Will I ever trust my neighbors? Will I ever feel real peace in my neighborhood? And if I do attain peace in my neighborhood, finding peace in the city will be next to impossible. I hear of crime, violence occurring on a daily basis. How can we attain peace, total peace, if each and every one of us isn’t willing to work towards the goal?

It would be easy to read this prayer and think it’s impossible to achieve. I decided not to read the entire prayer. Instead, I start at the bottom of the ladder. There must be peace in my heart. As Ghandi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Where are you on the ladder? Please join me on the bottom rung. Let’s achieve peace together.

Shirley Wiles-Dickinson 2011


Shirley Wiles-Dickinson

Shirley Wiles-Dickinson is the youngest of four girls in a Midwestern family. In 2009, her sister was brutally murdered. She writes about her experience following this loss.

More Articles Written by Shirley