A Prayer by St. Francis of Assisi
Where there is discord, may we bring harmony.
Where there is error, may we bring truth.
Where there is doubt, may we bring faith.
Where there is despair, may we bring hope.
If you listen carefully to the prayers of most people, it is clear that they see the God they worship as a genie in a bottle, who, properly summonsed, will grant wishes.
Instead of rubbing an ornate bottle to bring him into view, they thank Him for that which they have (I suppose to entice Him to listen) and then roll out their list of wants and self-determined needs. I am sure if asked they would feel as though they were being humble, but most prayers I’ve heard in churches, synagogues and mosques that I’ve visited around the world are little more than sugar-coated demands.
I love this prayer by St. Francis of Assisi, which, incidentally, Margaret Thatcher evoked just before entering 10 Downing Street for the first time as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, because it displays a different approach to prayer. Read it again and you will see that St. Francis is not demanding of his God, instead, he is sharing in His creative expression.