prayer of st. francis

If you are looking for a helpful expression of the heart of a Jesus-follower, the hymn version of the prayer of St. Francis is very pointed and clear. The focus of this prayer is on loving God first (it is a prayer to Him), then on loving our neighbour. Loving like this goes against our (un)natural instinct to look out for #1, that is, ourselves. Pray through this prayer, and see how it compares with the flow of your own heart and life.

Make me a channel of your peace,
Where there is hatred let me bring your love,
Where there is injury your pardon Lord,
And where there’s doubt true faith in you.
Make me a channel of your peace,
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope,
Where there is darkness, only light,
And where there’s sadness, ever joy.
O Master grant that I may never seek,
So much to be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love with all my soul.
Make me a channel of your peace,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving to all men that we receive
And in dying that we are born to eternal life.

We mistakenly think that we do ourselves a favour by looking out for ourselves first. The reality is, we will never find joy or fulfillment by serving ourselves first. We were not designed this way. The way we were designed, the way we need to live for joy and fulfillment, is the way of Jesus, the way summarized by Him as loving God heart, soul, mind and strength, and loving our neighbours as we would ourselves. This is the most liberating way to live!

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