As a new week begins and I’ve just returned from a great retreat, I’d like to point you in the direction of a special prayer I spent some time considering this weekend. Most of the time I don’t care for written prayers or ones that are used over and over again, yet the strength of this prayer caught my attention.
This particular prayer was given by Saint Francis of Assisi who lived in the 13th center. The prayer became most popular after it was shared during World War II. Take a few minutes to read through the prayer, note the themes and the depth that it brings out, and maybe use it as part of your prayer time today. Read on:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
There are several pieces that stand out for me and that made me point my thoughts toward the prayer for an extended time. The first was the request “make me an instrument of your peace”. That is a request that I have made, and it is also one that we need to have as a part of our Christian living.
And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
Sharing peace with others begins with peace in our lives. To be an instrument of peace we have to have sure that our lives are in union with God and sharing that with other people. As the verse above says we will place seeds of peace that bring awesome harvests in the days after.
I point you to one last part of the prayer. It is really the last section where it talks about giving and receiving, loving and being loved, forgiving and being forgiven. Most people look at such a request as over the top foolish. But I believe, as the word of God backs up, that you can’t have one without the other. We can’t live fully in the forgiveness God gives us and not forgive others. We can’t really have experienced God’s love and not share His love and show love to others.
This prayer is a simple and yet profound statement of a life set to follow God and give Him glory. It is selfless and strong. It is confident and full of faith. May our prayers, like this special prayer, be simple and bring evidence of our close walk with our God!
The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.
… The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.