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The Power of Prayer

Native American Spirituality and Prayer

Prayer is inextricably woven throughout a Native American’s life. Prayer is not just something that is done at church or in ceremony, but it is a part of each moment of one’s life. It is said that prayer is the strongest medicine.

Although the specific practices of prayer differ from tribe to tribe, a prayer made in the Native American way honors all. Many prayer practices involve the sacred tobacco, an offering given to Mother Earth before prayer, as well as the sacred pipe with tobacco for the purpose of making sacred smoke to send our prayers to Creator. Prayers are made at sunrise and sunset, they are made at sacred fires, and in tipis and lodges.

We honor the Creator of All Things, our Mother Earth, and Father Sky. We honor the four directions, and we honor Spirit. We pray from our hearts for the people, the land, and all who are upon it: the winged one, the finned, the furred, the stone people, the plant people, and the creepy crawlers, and we remember all our relations.

We have seen miracles come about through prayer. We believe with unshakable faith that Creator hears and answers our prayers, and that prayer is indeed the strongest medicine.

Blessings of Sacred Lands
to protect them from human desecration


At the request of Former Tribal Chief of the Pipes Spring Paiute Indian Reservation, Gary Tom and Tribal members of the Inner-mountain West decedents of the indigenous people of the inner mountain West Blessed the Four Corners, a broadly defined region within a 500-mile (805 km) radius of where four states, Arizona – Colorado – New Mexico – Utah, intersect.  Blessing took place on the State of Utah Capital steps. (2018).

Federal protection went into legislation October 7, 2021 for the Four Corners region of the United States.


James at Rock Canyon, Provo, UT James Mooney blessing Rock Canyon, Provo, UT

Blessing for Rock Canyon Protection

At the Request of the Rock Canyon Preservation Alliance a blessing was given by James Warren “Flaming Eagle” Mooney at the mouth of Rock Canyon (2010).

Legislation to protect Rock Canyon was ratified in 2017.

Blessing of the San Rafael Swell

At the Request of the citizens of Huntington, UT
Blessing of the San Rafael Swell at the San Rafael Swell dinosaur footprint (2009)

Legistlation protecting this sacred land ratified in 2019.

President Biden restored the protections for this and other National Monuments in 2021.

James Mooney blessing the San Rafael Swell

The San Rafael Swell

Miracle In Chief Sealth’s Hometown
(Chief Seattle, 1786 – June 7,1866) 

Written by Tracie Elise

The annual Hempfest in Seattle, Washington is considered to be the third largest political assembly in the US.  For over three decades, a 100,000 people gather during a three-day period to mobilize in favor of the decriminalization of Cannabis. ( James “Flaming Eagle” Mooney and I attended Hempfest in August 2011, representing ONAC regarding the use of cannabis as sacrament, and as a gift of medicine for the human family of Mother Earth.

The Hemp Fest is playful and zany-commercial, with everything imaginable (and some unimagined!) for sale and sample.  Set in a green, tree-forested park, there is a pale blue haze hovering over the crowd, especially at 4:20 pm, when reefers are passed freely to attendees, for a huge communal toke protesting the laws which imprison Cannabis users.

The atmosphere is colorful and rowdy, filled with rabble-rousers, hippies, musicians, dancers, artists and rebels of every stripe.  Since the Hempfest is held at a long stretch of beach in downtown Seattle, it is fair to say that there are miles of booths, restaurants, sound stages, and rest areas doubling back-and-forth along the waterfront, with live music & DJs keeping a variety of beats.

James delivered his encouraging message on different stages both Friday and Saturday, including an impromptu talk with attorneys at the VIP party Friday night.  I can attest to the open-arms attitude that greeted James everywhere he went. Despite the party atmosphere, there seemed to be an unfulfilled spiritual emptiness that was soothed when people met James, along with those who accompanied him to help staff the ONAC booth.  We all noticed there is a great need in the people for a return to healing with the elements, and a closer walk with Mother Earth.



Hemp Fest founder Vivian McPeak made a soulful connection with James, and invited him to give a closing blessing from the main stage at sunset Sunday night.  James appeared as always, dignified in ceremonial attire, his turquoise coat and long silver hair in bright contrast to the dark-green camouflage and blue jeans favored by Hempfest staff.

Photographers call sundown the “magic hour”, since the western-setting sun washes the whole beach in a blaze of golden light.  As Vivian appointed person, Jimi Hendrix’s Daughter – Tamika Laurice James Hendrix introduced James; tens of thousands of people up and down the waterfront were somehow coordinated by Great Spirit to fall into a complete silence.

James blew through his eagle’s bone whistle; the high-pitched sound floated eerily over the crowd, amplified by giant speakers on every stage in the park.  James raised his prayer pipe to the heavens, and asked for a blessing for Hempfest and Seattle, that the gifts of Mother Earth would once more be freely given to her children, without legal restrictions in the coming year.

The moment was uniquely powerful, sacred and beautiful, as the universe conspired to make a perfect memory for us all.  I get truth bumps (Goosebumps) even as I recall it now.

But Great Spirit had one more surprise in store for us that day.  As James ended his prayer, someone directly in the front of the stage yelled out, “Look!  Look up!” pointing excitedly to the blue skies above.

A majestic, lone bald eagle was slowly circling directly overhead James and the main stage, as concentric rings of white smoke floated upwards from his prayer pipe.  Amazement rippled through the crowd as people told one another “Look, See the eagle!” symbol of America’s freedom for over 200 years.

The best filmmakers in Hollywood could not have orchestrated a more perfect scene for us all that day.  James “Flaming Eagle” Mooney, as a servant of the Great Spirit, had divined a shining ceremony of harmony and oneness with Nature.

 Another true miracle followed in the coming months, as the city of Seattle decriminalized the use of cannabis, opening the door for natural healing throughout the Emerald City.  Our Oklevueha Elder’s prayer and blessing was sanctioned by Spirit, a consecration on the decades of hard work by Vivian McPeak and scores of Hempfest volunteers.

This story reminds us that Spirit will bless our endeavors when we stay focused and strong.  Taking a stand is just the beginning; staying the course is how we cross the finish line

And we should always pray for more miracles like this one!