On the Twelfth Day of Christmas…

#12 in the Christmastide Prayers for Peace Series

Find a quiet place and invite the God of your understanding into this moment and space made sacred by Love. When ready, return to your journal and write the St. Francis Prayer from its beginning and through the next prayer in the series.

Lord, make me a channel of thy peace – that where there is hatred, I may bring love – that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness – that where there is discord, I may bring harmony – that where there is error, I may bring truth – that where there is despair, I may bring hope – that where there are shadows, I may bring light – that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted – to understand, than to be understood – to love, than to be loved.

For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life. Amen.

I have come to know this final series as God’s How Prayer—trusting God’s promise to show me how to wake up to Eternal Life.

Yes, I know. I am breaking rank and presenting the 12th Prayer for Peace as three prayers in one. I admit to wanting to fit our contemplative walk with the Prayer of St. Francis into twelve days. But there is also no denying the powerhouse this final sequence becomes when read as a whole.

Every time—every single time—I enter this final series of the St. Francis Prayer, I am rocked with emotion and held by a Love larger than thinking, space, or time. Whether prayed in silence or shared in communal recitation with others, landing on the miracle of eternal life through dying strikes truly, deeply, purely to my deepest fears and hopes. And sometimes, I am moved to see “dying” as an invitation to look at, and let go of, what no longer may be life giving.

For example, what spiritual deaths, or dark nights of the soul, have I experienced? Or I am experiencing right now?

What emotional deaths—dying to the smaller self of ego—have I fought or allowed? And, what has been on ‘the other side’ of dying to these old ways, thoughts, or conditions?

I imagine about now you may be feeling many emotions that can not be neatly packed into one last journey entry. So, let’s pull back a moment to where we have been in our contemplative walk over these past twelve days, and where we are now on the eve of Epiphany

Epiphany is the day the three wise men presented their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus. The word Epiphany comes from the Greek, meaning “manifestation” or “to reveal”—in this case, the manifestation of Christ to the Magi (the three kings). So I wonder, can we pause and reflect on both the small and big gifts we have accepted over the past twelve days—or twelve months? And, in the spirit of the St. Francis Prayer, can we consider what gifts of peace we may want to bring to others?

I hope you have found a new and more intimate relationship with this experience of the St. Francis Prayer. I have enjoyed sharing these days with you and look forward to hearing from you if you get a chance.

A dear friend shared this version of the Prayer of St. Francis, as sung by Sarah McLachlan. With this, I stand and sing with you in the hope of God’s peace, and with my love.

And, one last time—listen to the words in the prayer, and the words inside of you. Write them down. Thank them. And, if there is silence, allow yourself to sit in the familiar comfort of these words of peace.

Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
The Prayer of St. Francis – 12 Prayers for Peace, presented by Theresa Wyatt Prebilsky

*Prayer of St. Francis, as presented in ‘Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions‘
Lord, make me a channel of thy peace – that where there is hatred, I may bring love – that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness – that where there is discord, I may bring harmony – that where there is error, I may bring truth – that where there is doubt, I may bring faith – that where there is despair, I may bring hope – that where there are shadows, I may bring light – that where there is sadness, I may bring joy. Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted – to understand, than to be understood – to love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life. Amen.


NOTES: This is a public forum and comments and questions are always welcome, but please be thoughtful and respectful to the journey for yourself and for others. Please also know that I welcome hearing from you directly about your thoughts, comments, questions and suggestions during and after this Christmastide season. www.theresa@theresawyatt.com

3 thoughts on “On the Twelfth Day of Christmas…

  1. What a loving journey this has been. As I have shared previously, this prayer has been a favorite of mine since childhood. I heard in these past 12 days a message of how better to accomplish what I have been praying for all these years. I can’t give these gifts to others unless I first am a channel of Your peace. St. Francis acknowledges right off the bat that he must be a channel, then asks God for all that he needs in order to be His channel. I’m not only praying for others when I pray this prayer now, I am praying for me as well. It’s deeper and more intimate. It brings me more humility, comfort, courage, and power. Thank you! God bless!

    1. I love hearing about your journey, and thank you taking the time, and trust, to share this. I too was amazed last year when the prayer invited me to be open to seeking the channel of God’s peace for me. It has been a special joy going through this prayer again with others. Thank you, and God’s peace to you and yours, now and always.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.