There are so many old prayers out there with interesting orgins.
One such prayer is The Prayer of St. Francis.
The Prayer of St. Francis was first published in 1912 inside a French magazine called “The Little Bell.” Since its first publication, it’s been attributed to St. Francis. However, there’s no evidence that he actually wrote it (1). So, the prayer’s authorship is, in fact, unknown. Moreover, while we know when it was published, the year it was written is also unknown.
“Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace” is the first line of the prayer, and this one line immediately sets the tone. It sets a tone of selflessness and altruism.
Interestingly, there are even deeper messages that can be gleaned from the prayer beyond that of being selfless and altruistic.
- First of all, we are God’s hands and feet. We can be both an example and a vessel for his peace.
- Second, don’t focus on the negative. Where things are not ideal, try to be an instrument of positive change.
- Third, treat others as you would like to be treated. While we seek and pray for understanding, consolation, and love, we should also give them.
- Fourth, we gain more in giving. The less self-centered we are, the more centered our lives become.
- Finally, we have no right to judge harshly and hold grudges. It’s hypocritical to ask God to forgive us for all our screw-ups if we can’t find it in our hearts to pardon or not be so judgmental.
Although The Prayer of St. Francis was written many years ago, the messages it carries are not only universal but also timeless. As you read each line, consider the messages outlined above.
Read, reflect, and restore.
The Prayer of St. Francis
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;
And 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.
AmenAnonymous, cir. 1912