Prayers for people of the world

People from all directions of the globe are joined together in this prayer cycle brought to us by the Primates World Relief and Development Fund of Canada.

The Four Directions

One of the spiritual gifts of the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island in North America is the medicine wheel, where the circle, or wheel, holds four distinct sets of teachings, or medicines, that nurture growth and health: spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental.

The teachings come from diligent Indigenous study of the cycles of nature: the seasons, the night sky, the rising and setting sun, and the patterns of the winds. East, South, West, and North make up the points on the compass, and the symbolic points on the medicine wheel.

For most tribes, movement begins in the East, the direction of the rising sun, running around to the South, West, and finally the North. The circle is completed by returning to the East.

Each of the four points in the circle corresponds to a direction and the peoples who come from that direction, and also to a stage of life and its teachings. Each direction has a symbolic colour, and is represented by a sacred plant, used ritually as medicine in prayer.

Prayers are offered in four directions to honour the balance and diversity of gifts given by the Creator through each direction. The key to both individual and community healing is balancing and integrating these distinctive elements symbolised by the four directions.

These four prayers are for the people from the east, south, west and north. You can also read one of the psalms suggested along with them.