How did you pray this year?
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"God is a reality whose will and wisdom are to be seen throughout his creation. Prayer is a call to the source of all power and authority ... and it is heard. There is a word [in Arabic] which means peace, security, and trust they are all related, and are something human beings have always prayed for. But it is important to pray for peace and security based on justice, not peace at all costs. If there is not justice, peace will not take place, and, in fact, it is an offense to God."Skip to next paragraph
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Seyyed Hossein Nasr, professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University
"I know that, externally, people have felt greatly threatened. And yet I know from my own spiritual growth that every time there's great turmoil, there's a great blessing that's coming.
I don't feel this is a terrible time. There's such great good going forward. For me the great comfort is knowing that God's law is governing, and that even though the violence is an aberration of that law, it can't neutralize it, it can't stop it. And [God's law] actually operates to renew and restore the very things that appear to have been lost. My prayer is that mankind know that."
Lois Carlson, Christian Science practitioner and teacher in Evanston, Ill.
"God's promise was that whenever we had to confront the pain and unfairness of life, we would not have to face it alone because God would be with us. I can count on God to strengthen me and to give me the courage it takes to get on an airplane, to go to a crowded shopping center."
Harold Kushner, rabbi laureate of Temple Israel in Natick, Mass., and author of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People"
"[Seeing good overcome evil after that day] was kind of like marking a new notch on my gun, so to speak: That's where God had mercy! That's where good overcame evil! There's just no way for evil to overcome that which is good, because that which is good is so deeply connected with God.
"I thought of where Jesus said, 'I will never leave you comfortless.'
"[Since the attacks], I've never spoken with anyone or heard anyone speak a single word of hatred. Not one. And I've not just been limited to church folk."
The Rev. Paige Chargois, one of the leaders of St. Paul's Baptist Church in Richmond, Va.
"A lot of Quakers talk about holding someone in the light. I was more aware of the need to have the enemy in the light that is, those we've decided are our enemies. I've tried to hold our leaders in the light. As one sees the scope of the national and international tragedy enlarging, the caring enlarges, too. One thing I've had in mind a lot is an epistle from George Fox [founder of the Quakers]: "Sing and rejoice, you children of the day and the light, because the Lord is at work in this thick night of darkness."
Paul Lacey, chairman of the American Friends Service Committee board of directors
"That's what prayer should be: How to cope with anger and hurt and then move outward. Unfortunately, we are tempted into withdrawing into self-absorption. That would be a prayer that would be usable on Sept. 11. 'Deliver me from self-absorption and turn my eyes outward to others.' "
The Rev. James Wall, former editor of The Christian Century.