Tag Archives: Prayers for peace

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

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas…

#11 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.

This one is extremely personal, isn’t it? It addresses who and how we are to love without offering qualifiers or limits. It suggests we step out on the ledge of love without harnesses to pull us back if there is not ease or reciprocity.

In fact, these past three prayers are void of any means or merit testing. They seem to suggest finding a way to offer compassion—unconditionally and independently of what anyone else is doing.

I have come to think of this section as Character Building Prayers—seeking God’s help to get ahead of my shortcomings and live into the ideals I believe God has for me. And I need these prayers. Because, frankly, it is only in God’s peace—in this deep knowing that all is abundant and well—that I am able to choose and live beyond my human reactions and reasons to comfort, understand, and love.

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.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

LOVE WHO SHOWS UP. Not too long after my divorce, a friend convinced me to get a cat. It helped, but I still fell to being a victim and feeling sorry for myself. No husband. No boyfriend. Feeling less-than and lonely. One day, as my cat Toonces sat purring on my chest, my heart heard, “How about you start now with loving this cat?”

Around that same time, every work day morning my boss would sit down in front of my desk and talk about what he ate the night before, how much he weighed, the reason for his particular shoe choice (which was usually weather related), and any non-work related topic he chose for that morning’s monologue. I complained to my sponsor about his frivolous misuse of my time. She told me, “Put your pencil down. And listen.”

*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

On the Tenth Night of Christmas…

#10 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.

There is less resentment, and no waiting for others to understand me, if I accept that it is my right and responsibility to grow in understanding of my true Self. There is no loss in identity, or shortage of understanding for all, when I am willing to attend to knowing myself and ask for what I need without demands.

What happens then, if I extend this prayer and add, Lord, grant that I may seek rather to understand myself than to wait for others to understand me? Might I be less demanding of others to know, guess at, or understand the parts of me that I do not yet know myself?

We all have a natural and God-given desire to be seen and understood. But, in knowing and understanding ourselves, might my desire to understand others be of a more generous and God-given spirit?

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.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

UNDERSTAND. My husband has often replied, “Everyone has a story, and we don’t always know it.” Sometimes I find his reply irritating—wanting him to join me in people judging. Sometimes I get jealous of his virtuosity. But, he is right.

And sometimes, most likely when I am feeling understood and loved myself, I can remember—I don’t need to understand their story to respect that they have one. And, trying to understand still counts.

*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

On the Ninth Day of Christmas…

#9 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.

I definitely notice, and feel in my body, a shift in perspective as I read and write this next line of prayer. It feels a little like moving from the backset of the car—where my view was blocked by the naugahyde seatback three feet in front of me—to a wider-open 180° view from the front passenger seat.

With this broader perspective, everything feels a little bigger and more grownup, and if I am honest—sightly uncomfortable. In my imagination I roll the window down, look all around me, and notice: hey, there’s a whole world out here. There are others who are like me and those who are not—living in situations and circumstances I relate to, and don’t.

I return to the prayer as it is written and as it lands in my journal and heart.

Does God believe in my spiritual maturity to such a degree as to ask me to think of, and care for, others? Am I willing to give comfort when my initial, and maybe more childish desire is to be comforted? Do I feel a resistance to give away what I might most crave, or need, for myself?

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.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

COMFORT. Can I trust the abundance of The Comforter to run out of me but to not run out
?

“O that our hearts were enlarged in love to God, that we might turn inward, to the blessed comforter, that the blessed Jesus said the Father would send.”-Elias Hicks, Traveling Quaker Minister (1748-1830)

*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

On the Eighth Day of Christmas…

#8 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.

Does this prayer get a little too close to hearing “cheer up” when my heart is breaking?

Is the intent of this prayer to eradicate sadness in the world and in me? Or, can I allow and welcome joy alongside sadness? Can these two, deeply personal emotions peacefully coexist in the channel of God’s peace?

With this prayer for joy, we have come to the end of the first section of the St. Francis Prayer. I like to think of this first series of eight prayers as Responsive Prayers—accepting God’s loving response to my reactions, or character defects, that disrupt peace.

As we move on to the next trio of prayers, you may notice a change in tone and perspective—a subtle shift towards more proactively seeking the ideals of our higher self.

But first, and now, you may want to pause and sit quietly with where you have been with the Prayer of St. Francis. Are you feeling a closer connection with the prayers? Are you finding a more loving connection with God, yourself, and others?

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.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

GRIEF. I can not read this line in our prayer without feeling grief as both the root and flower of sadness
. Out of this, the word rosetears became shorthand for me by describing the non-dualistic reality of holding both sadness and joy, grief and gratitude.

Another invitation came to me at a time when I thought grief would consume and bury me. I came to accept and allow myself to be sad in the small and highly personal realities of my life and loss while also being able to recall the big, never changing love that surrounds and comforts beyond time or circumstances. A wise child captured this divine paradox as, “Love is big, and small”.

*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

On the Seventh Day of Christmas…

#7 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.

During this time of year, many of our religions and traditions include waiting for, remembering, and celebrating with light—light from a star (Christmas), recalling the mystical light of an oil lamp (Hanukkah), lighting seven candles in gratitude (Kwanzaa). But our need and search for light doesn’t necessarily follow any particular church or secular calendar. And, our souls tend to notice the dimming before our mind recognizes what shadows are in and around us.

Maybe it is a good time to be still and listen more closely to the quiet voice of our soul, and ask, “What shadows do I feel in the bright of day? What fading light has gone un-noticed in the busyness of this season?”

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.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

SHADOWS. I pause and notice not only the shadows I sense in me, but also ask what shadows I might have cast on others by inserting myself between them and their Higher Power/God?

I can call it “helping,” or getting it done faster and more efficiently. But when I am doing for others out of my need to be admired, or to be someone else’s solution when they have the resources to do it on their own—and in their own way—I am blocking the light of their one true Source.

Lord, make me a channel of thy peace – that where I am casting shadows by standing between you and yours, let me get out of the way of your Light.

*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

On the Sixth Day of Christmas…

#6 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 doubt, I may bring faith – that where there is despair, I may bring hope.

Despair may be one of the easier emotions to feel in our body. Do I notice where despair might be residing in my body right now? In my tummy? In my back? In my heart or in my throat?

Or, do I experience despair as a mental awareness—something like depression? If so, does this depression feel heavy? As a new temporary condition, or a familiar companion that parked itself in me so many years ago that I dare not think what it would feel like if it left?

What other awareness do I notice when I see despair linked to hope? Does the prayer bring me hope, or resignation? Do I feel lighter, or heavier? In what things do I hope?

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.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

DESPAIR. Reading our prayer this time, I hear the word despair as un-coupled. Which feels in my body like separation and aloneness. My mind wants to tell me the answer to despair is attachment to someone or something outside of me, and that can be a good and loving God-gift. Today, the prayer also invites me to stand in the channel of God’s peace and reconnect with true hope in things not yet seen but promised as good.

*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