A Prayer for Peace

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May 13, 2008 | No comments yet

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By Dennis Bates

To paraphrase Keith Whitley or, if you prefer, Allison Krause, sometimes we say it best when we say nothing at all, but pray instead. For some time now, I’ve wanted to do that with one of the most powerful prayers I have ever read. I invite you to read this prayer out loud and then to yourself. Read it slowly and then pray that God writes every word on your heart so that you can understand its majesty, its beauty and its magnitude.


There are several versions of the prayer available, and some limited questions about its author, since it is difficult to trace it back further than shortly after 1900, but it is most commonly called the Peace Prayer of St. Francis. To me, its direction away from self to the other leads me to believe that no matter who prayed it first, its origin is the Holy Spirit. What could be a more succinct expression of the true Christian spirit than this 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 despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

and where there is sadness, joy.


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.


Pray that with me, today, and believe it will change your life.

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