• Jack Elliott

Prayer and Collard Greens

By: Saundria Jennings, PhD, ElderPride Prac-term

I often think about my ancestors, who were enslaved, who were forced to travel across the oceans to arrive in a new land, who brought nothing with them to support themselves. The culture and traditions and past knowledge were no longer at their disposal as they had to figure out how to survive in this strange, hostile and cruel place.

A religion was forced upon them that suggested that they were unworthy of God’s love, that they had to be kind and love those who abused they, hated them, and considered them less human than cattle. This religion suggested that they would suffer on earth and get their rewards in Heaven, perhaps, if they were good and if they passed the final judgment!

This religion was the new creed under which they were to live. One slip could mean instant death. In this new way of life, they prayed. They took the little that they knew of this God Spirit and prayed in secret at night after long day of work in the big house or in the fields, after insults were hurled in their direction, after punishments were passed out, threats of separation, loss and death were held over their heads. They continued to pray. In the midst of it all, they were guided and directed for their survival.

The Collective consciousness of God whispered: “go here,” “do this,” “act this way,” “don’t say that,” “hold your peace,” “eat this,” “this will sustain you,” “keep praying,” “hold the vision,” etc. And they survived. They held the vision of future generations—me and my children and their children. The God of all and One did not fail them!

Part of that guidance was the whispering of the Spirit that showed them the things to eat in the wild that would sustain them and make them stronger than ever, since medicines were not forthcoming for these enslaved people. Eating collard greens is an example of that guidance. They were led to pick them, cook them and then drink the potlikker—the juice left behind (or pot liquor—as my mother called it), both the greens and the potlikker contained nutrients surpassing some of our most effective medicines today.

Through the prayers that fed their minds and the guidance of Spirit that led them to nutrients that fed their bodies, they survived, in spite of the physical conditions. Their relationship with God, their willingness to be guided and to listen, helped them overcome the distress and dangers.

And so it is and can be with all of us, every being, regardless of our ancestry, heritage, or regardless of what we have been told or regardless of what we see in the physical world!

God within provides the means and the direction and guidance to surviving and thriving for anyone who will listen and act in faith. The guidance to “eat collard greens,” is just an indicator of the love and care of Spirit to provide for each of us. The prayers and affirmations of faith can be uttered anyone. The results (manifestations) can be enjoyed by everyone.

It is up to each of us to offer these prayers in expectation that they will manifest and we will be guided perfectly (to eat the collard greens). The following of these directives leads us to peace, assurance that all can enjoy regardless of circumstances. We will, through our faith, prevail in God’s impartial love of all in an abundance of good.

Saundria Jennings, Ph.D. Saundria is a part of ElderPride's Leadership Collaborative. She is a Practitioner in training (Prac-tern). To reach her, write us at

(c) 2021 March Issue,

20 views0 comments