Prayer of St. Francis

St. Francis of Assisi

Image by dawnzy58 via Flickr

It seems fear of the stranger and justification for it are all around us. The Christian Gospel calls for something else. St. Francis understood this  Here is a prayer attributed to him. May it be our prayer:

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 darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy.


O Divine Master,

grant that I my 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

(United Methodist Hymnal # 481)

When others allow fear of the stranger to gain a foothold in their spirits, and anger directed at others to define them, let us not forget who we are and to whom we belong.

16 thoughts on “Prayer of St. Francis

  1. Thanks for sharing this prayer here Rev…
    We need a reminder once in a while, and this did it! The message is incredibly simple, and yet, we often fail to understand.. I hope we succeed in becoming the instruments of peace..

    • It is an old prayer. When I came across it for the first time in a while yesterday it kind of helped me remember who I am (or at least most like to be) and why. It is very easy for us to forget, and then get caught up in the unhealthy stuff that can suck us in. Thanks for your feedback. – Bill

    • Absolutely. And thanks for reading and your feedback. I do appreciate that you take the time to share your perspective. It is interesting that Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Christian theologian and pastor who was arrested, imprisoned for 2 years in Nazi Germany for plotting against Hitler, and executed some 2 weeks before the war ended wrote to his father from prison that he wondered what it meant that he preferred conversation with those who were not religious. I think it had to do with his understanding of the purpose of it all, which is to be human, not to be religious. – Bill

  2. This is a favorite, as is St. Francis …

    Good that you posted it, Bill. I did too as part of my Radical Sanity series when I first started blogging. People still come to the site to read it. Heartening.

    Thanks! 🙂

    • I come back to this prayer periodically. Generally when I need to return to my center for some sanity. After seeing and reading reports of the protests at ground zero in NYC, I had to come back to St. Francis. I am going to have to find your radical sanity series. I appreciate your thought and work. – Bill

  3. The poem has a feel whereby the charm of Roman years come back. A beautiful composition about the no so beautiful prevalent issues..
    Comes out of an old manuscript..


  4. I adore these words…I once sang them at church years ago in a quartet…the only music being a guitar. It sends shivers down my spine just thinking of it. Thanks for reminding me of that wonderful day and the truth in these words.

    Chloe xx

    • It is a beautiful prayer that has been made into hymns in a number of traditions. There is something about it that keeps us centered. I am glad it brought back good memories for you. – Bill

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