Prayers From African-American Traditions

A multifaith selection.

Reprinted from "Standing in the Need of Prayer: A Celebration of Black Prayer" from the Schomburg Center, published by the Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster.


Free at last, free at last,


Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last.



The very time I thought I was lost,


Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last;


My dungeon shook and my chains fell off,


Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last,


This is religion, I do know,


Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last;


For I never felt such a love before,


Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last.



--African-American Spiritual


May he support us all the day long,


till the shadows lengthen


and the evening comes


and the busy world is hushed


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and the fever of life is over


and our work is done-


then in his mercy-


may he give us a safe lodging


and a holy rest


and peace at the last.


--Attributed to John Henry Newman "And Peace At Last"


Princes shall come out of Egypt,


Ethiopia shall stretch forth her


hand unto God. Oh thou God


of Ethiopia, thou God of divine


majesty, thy spirit come within our


hearts to dwell in the pasts of righteousness.


That the hungry be fed,


the sick nourished, the aged protected,


and the infant cared for. Teach us


love and loyalty as it is in Zion.



--A Rastafarian Prayer


Oh yes, fix me, Jesus, fix me.


Fix me so that I can walk on


a little while longer.


Fix me so that I can pray on


just a little bit harder.


Fix me so that I can sing on


just a little bit louder.


Fix me so that I can go on despite the pain,


The fear, the doubt, and yes, the anger,


I ask not that you take this cross from me,


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