The violent storm that had struck off the coast of Donegal, Ireland, in 1748 was threatening to take down Captain John Newton’s ship, the Greyhound. Newton was not a religious man, and moreover he was a slave trader: The cargo hold was filled with Africans who had been captured and were now chained in horrific conditions.

As the high waves and winds threatened to sink the ship, Newton fell on his knees and, for the first time in his life, began praying to God for mercy. In that moment, his prayers were heard: He felt God’s presence and started to reform his life.

Eventually Newton became an Anglican priest and worked for the abolition of slavery. His legacy is the song “Amazing Grace,” which has inspired millions of people over the years since it was written.

Today in America our situation is parallel in many ways to John Newton’s experience. As a nation we carry the burden of many people still being shackled by racial hatred and prejudice. A violent storm is upon us, caused not by wind and waves, but by the arousing of our American conscience and passion for justice.

A prayer for justice and mercy is rising up from the soul of this country: a nation founded on spiritual principles and a pledge of equality for all its people. Abraham Lincoln stated this high purpose in 1863 during one of the darkest hours in the Civil War when he delivered the Gettysburg Address. He concluded by urging “that we here highly resolve . . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

America’s high purpose was affirmed also by Rev. Francis Bellamy in 1892, when national feeling was again at a low ebb. He wrote the Pledge of Allegiance primarily for school children to awaken them to the great vision from which America sprang. In its current form, the closing words are: “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

There is a tremendous battle before us now to right the injustices that exist in the world and to reclaim this nation’s high purpose. Each of us must do our part as we feel within.

As devotees, we have both a personal and a social responsibility. First, we should redouble our efforts to achieve soul freedom for ourselves and others. Then we must humbly try to draw the divine grace that will raise global consciousness, which in turn will bring outer freedom for all.

It is time to rise up in challenge to all forms of bondage: materialistic greed, egotism, racism, divisive nationalism. In their place, let us work towards a rebirth of higher values: simplicity of life, awareness of our higher Self, and an understanding of the oneness of all people, all nations under God.

Prayer for a United World by Paramhansa YoganandaOur guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, endured racial prejudice and inequities during the years he brought his mission of world brotherhood and soul freedom to the West. In his “Prayer for a United World,” he wrote: “Let us pray in our hearts for a League of Souls and a United World. Though we may seem divided by race, creed, color, class, and political prejudices, still, as children of the one God we are able to feel brotherhood and world unity. May we work for the creation of a United World in which every nation will be a useful part, guided by God through man’s enlightened conscience.”

May the “Amazing Grace” that John Newton received touch human hearts in this hour of need, and awaken people everywhere to the universal love and acceptance that resides within us all.

Your friend in God,

Nayaswami Devi

P.S. We invite you to watch this call to action, which we recorded yesterday to address all that is happening in the world just now.

Subscribe to the Touch of Light podcast. Download the audio recording of this week’s blog by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (5:24):

18 Comments

  1. Thank you Gurumaatha..,you shared a very relevant article to the current situation, unity,love and peace should be our destination right now.

  2. Thank you Deviji, a beautiful, compassionate and much needed message for us all. May we all manifest the love, peace and tolerance of God and Gurus to our seriously troubled world. I appreciate your powerful reminder.
    With love, uma

  3. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,
    Thank you for this blog. And sharing the prayer and the inspiring incidents.
    Also the video ‘call to action’ is very helpful and will guide us to play our part as warriors of light.

    Joy,
    Prem

  4. Thank you!!!!! For making the challenge facing us so clear. For showing us how we can be a force for change. For demonstrating the divine power of joy, compassion, and love.
    Joy, joy, joy,
    ~ devarshi

  5. Thank you Devi for so clearly showing us how to use our God given power for the good of all in these most challenging times. Your message is an inspiring call to action for every devotee to use soul consciousness as a means of shining Light into this world.
    In God’s Love, Shanti

  6. Thank you, Devi.

    Whose stern impassioned stress
    A thoroughfare of freedom beat
    Across the wilderness!
    America! America!
    God mend thine every flaw
    Confirm thy soul in self-control
    Thy liberty in law!

    O beautiful for heroes proved
    In liberating strife
    Who more than self their country loved
    And mercy more than life!
    America! America!
    May God thy gold refine
    Till all success be nobleness
    And every gain divine!

  7. Thank you for sharing what we all needed to hear from our leadership at this time. “We all are Warriors of light. We will fill the world with Gods light.”

  8. Dear Devi,

    Thank you so much for your strong, powerful words that help focus our prayers in these particularly challenging times. Also a reminder of what Master faced and reminder that we are all children of God. As Warriors of Light, it is a great reminder of where the darkness is that we must battle with God’s Light.

    In His Joy and Love,

    Karen

  9. Dearest Nayaswami Devi, thank you from my heart of hearts for this beautiful, God given wisdom and counsel that is so needed right now in this upside down world we’re experiencing right now! Love what you said here: “we should redouble our efforts to achieve soul freedom for ourselves and others. Then we must humbly try to draw the divine grace that will raise global consciousness, which in turn will bring outer freedom for all.”

  10. Thank you, dear Devi ji!
    Let this Amazing Grace flow from God and fill this World with love, light, unity and compassion. Prayer for an United World, is all encompassing and beautiful..
    Thank you for sharing this now and guiding us beautifully in prayers for these current situations.
    Love
    Sharmila Ram

  11. Incredibly timely as always Davi.

    God’s Grace IS Amazing, and it flows through us 24/7-365. It IS the Sustainer, the light that powers our Soul battery and operates the inner machinery of our beings, and all of the Universe. As we look out upon the vast sea of humanity, individuated and unique as we behold every one, there we see our beloved Heavenly Father and Divine Mother, looking back at us.

    Love every, single, one, and above all else, thank and love the Source, Beloved Father Mother God.

  12. Dynamic post! Thank you dearest Devi for so eloquently expressing what so many of us feel in our hearts.

  13. Thank you Devi,
    The power of your words ring the bell of truth and the amazing Grace that unites us all.
    In Guru,
    sabari

  14. Dear Deviji
    As always a wonderful and inspiring blog. I think God’s Amazing Grace is on all of us, we just need to realise it. Thank you for making us realise the Amazing Grace God always showers us with.
    Thank you once again ?
    Ritu

  15. Thank you Devi for these inspiring words that hopefully we all feel in our hearts. May they spread this love to all the world.

  16. Namaste Dear Heart! This is a beautiful share and inspires the heart center. We can all unite in the name of love and compassion as it requires nothing more than our willingness. What a profound impact it can have if we all make a commitment to the well-being of our planet and all sentient beings on our planet. It sets the tone and gets the movement in a subtle manner flowing towards that glorious reality. With gratitude …

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