How did you pray this year?
"Our prayer ... focused on [the fact that] evil, though seemingly triumphant in the moment of devastation ... had no power to last. Every story of survival, of a person calling a loved one, saying, 'I may not make it but I want you to know I love you,' that was good overcoming evil."Skip to next paragraph
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The Rev. Paige Chargois, Baptist minister
"I have found myself praying more for our country in recent months than I have in the past. It's a prayer that we should be true to our best selves, our best values, and not fall prey to imitating the enemy, becoming vengeful."
The Rev. Donald Shriver, Presbyterian minister
"It's important we don't develop a spirituality of escapism. We need to take on the world with its challenges and become peacemakers, reconcilers."
Peter Kuzmic, Overseas Ministries Study Center
"I pray and I hope my prayer will lead me to protect people and preserve peace. I think peace is something God is praying to us for to have the capacity to bless our world. God is praying for us to take custody of our world and find ways to live up to the goodness that is inside of us. I always find the Psalms very comforting. There are so many that depict a voice in trouble, searching to God for salvation; for grace, security, peace; for changing enemies' thoughts and intentions.
My prayer is that our faith will continue to be strong and our prayers will not just be words. That they will lead us to act in ways that will lead to tolerance, goodness, compassion, and to courageousness and peace."
Naomi Levy, Venice, Calif., rabbi and author of "Talking to God"
"All of us prayed together across religious lines not to have this cast as a religious war. There was an effort to provide settings in which people would pray ... across those lines of faith. We would demonstrate that however we came to God, there was a common ground we could share. There was a real desire to pray for those [touched by the tragedy], that they would have strength."
The Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, president of Catholic Charities USA
"We pray that all of us and our national leaders might learn something from this event that we need to learn. And especially that we might listen enough to our critics.
"We had meetings with our Jewish and Muslim neighbors in New York, and we have been pushed by those meetings to consider the possibility that God is greater than any one of our religions. I've had that sense especially during the Lord's Prayer: When we say, 'Our Father,' I believe we're not just praying as Christians.
"The event has made me much more insistent that we must learn to value human beings as such wherever they are around the world. God loves them, therefore we must also."
The Rev. Donald Shriver, president emeritus of Union Theological Seminary and author of "Ethics for Enemies."