The Prayer

The Prayer, Andrea Bocelli & Celine Dion

The Prayer – Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion 

When I was new in AA, my sponsor tried to explain the difference between prayer and meditation in Step 11 by saying that prayer was talking to God  and meditation was listening. That was a nice try. Sponsors are supposed to keep it simple for newcomers and he was doing his job. But of course, there are many ways to practice each form of conscious contact with God, and the line between prayer and meditation may not always be that sharply drawn. 

Consider Step 11 in the 12&12, where these two spiritual disciplines blend seamlessly into what we might call contemplative prayer, or if you will, prayerful mediation. The example we are given there centers on a  prayer—the St.. Francis prayer —as the  the object of our mediation. It is suggested that we reflect deeply on the meaning behind each word and phrase, “resting quietly with the thoughts” expressed. 

This approach reflects the history of the two disciplines. For, at least in the  Western tradition, prayer appears to have preceded and formed the foundation for meditation. Prayer, which was originally practiced aloud and in public, is also associated with the rise of music. Historically, prayers were typically  composed to be sung, not just read or recited. They were poems set to music. Indeed, it may be said that prayer, poetry and music arose in tandem in the West. 

Among contemporary non-church, non-liturgical prayers,  “The Prayer”  is perhaps one of the most beautiful. May it serve to inspire us as we seek to establish that conscious contact  with God which Step11 tells us is the primary purpose of prayer as of meditation. 

English & Italian Lyrics (with Translation) 

(Lyrics color code: Celine Dion, blue /Andrea Bocelli; green /duo: red /black in parenthesis: English translation of Italian lyrics.) 

I pray you’ll be our eyes 

And help us to be wise

In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer

When we lose our way

Lead us to a place

Guide us with your grace

To a place where we’ll be safe.

La luce che tu dai (the light that you give) 

I pray we’ll find your light 

Nel cuore resterà (In my heart it will remain) 

And hold it in our hearts 

A ricordarci che (To remind us that) 

When stars go out each night

L’eterna stella sei (You are the eternal star)

Nella mia preghiera (In my prayer)

Let this be our prayer

Quanta fede c’è (There is so much faith) 

When shadows fill our day

Lead us to a place 

Guide us with your grace

Give us faith so we’ll be safe 

Sogniamo un mondo senza più violenza (We dream of a world with no more violence)

Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza (A world of justice and hope)

Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino (Everyone shakes hands with their neighbor) 

Simbolo di pace e di fraternità (A symbol of peace and fraternity)

La forza che tu dai (The strength you give) 

We ask that life be kind  

È il desiderio che (Is the desire that) 

And watch us from above 

Ognuno trovi amor (Everyone may find love)

We hope each soul will find

Intorno e dentro a sé (Around and inside themselves)

Another soul to love

Let this be our prayer 

Let this be our prayer 

Just like every child 

Just like every child 

Needs to find a place, 

Guide us with your grace

Give us faith so we’ll be safe 

E la fede che (And the faith that)

Hai acceso in noi (You have ignited within us)

Sento che ci salverà (I feel will save us). 

To listen to The Prayer, or return to The Language of the Heart, please click on ink.