Did you know that the Prayer of St. Francis cannot be attributed to any of the writings or works of the 13th century saint known as Francis of Assisi? According to various Internet sources, the earliest appearance of the prayer is said to have been in 1912, when it was printed in a small devotional French publication known as La Clochette. One of the first printings is said to have been on the reverse of a devotional card depicting the image of St. Francis, and so the prayer began to be associated with the spirit of simplicity that emboies this particular saint. Over the next few years, the prayer was included in more widely read French publications, and became well known as a prayer for peace during the First World War. The prayer became popular in the United States in 1936, when it was distributed on leaflets as a peace prayer during and after World War II, and continues to be a favorite for those ranging from Mother Teresa and other world leaders, to recording artists and filmakers.
For those seeking a positive lifestyle and to affect positive change in the world, the Prayer of St. Francis can be used a powerful form of affirmative prayer. There are many different versions of the prayer, from the first known original text, to variations used for Twelve Step programs worldwide. As we resolve to be open to the good flowing in our lives, a few simple adjustments to the text transforms the attitude of supplication to that of positive affirmation, and the prayer becomes a freshly powerful tool for us to claim positive attittudes and positive outcomes, in this very moment, right now. Consider using this prayer as a part of your daily quiet time:
Lord, I am an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, I 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.
Divine Spirit grants that
I do 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 releasing the self that we are born to Eternal Life.
So it is.