On your knees II

(The National Day of Prayer may be a semi-blasphemous joke, but I do take prayer seriously. Here are three classics.)

A prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

O Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is discord, harmony.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sorrow, joy.

Oh Divine Master, grant that I may 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 dying that we are born to Eternal Life.  

Matthew 6:5-13

And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Pray then in this way:

"Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one."

And my favorite prayer, from Mark 9:24

I believe; help my unbelief!

  • lawguy

    Doesn’t Matthew 6:5 & 6 kind of slam even the concept of a National Day of Prayer?

  • poetisa

    You forgot the parable of the publican and the Pharisee (Luke 18:9-14). Very instructive on the difference between prayer and prayer.
    Ta for the entry.

  • Karen Underwood

    Boy howdy, do I need that last one sometimes.
    Thanks Fred!

  • walden

    It’s interesting that St. Francis — who had himself been a POW during the many wars in Italy (prior to his “conversion experience” recognizing God’s concern for every person and creature) — went on the 3d Crusade. And even there he sought peace — meeting with Saladin (leader of the Muslim forces)in an attempt to prevent the fighting. Whether St. Francis had any influence with Richard and the other Crusaders is not known.
    It’s also interesting that the prayer of St Francis is a prayer for peace — which is also the gist of the entire Latin mass which begins with the petition “Lord have mercy” and ends with the other petition “Grant us peace”.

  • Davis X. Machina

    A Jesuit-trained lapsus, I keep going back to Ignatius’ prayer
    Lord, teach me to be generous.
    Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
    to give and not to count the cost,
    to fight and not to heed the wounds,
    to toil and not to seek for rest,
    to labor and not to ask for reward,
    save that of knowing that I do your will.

  • Eileen

    The NDoP might almost be worth it if Bush would pray Lear’s prayer:
    “Poor naked wretches, wheresoe’er you are,
    That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
    How shall your unhoused heads, your unfed sides,
    Your looped and windowed raggedness, defend you
    From seasons such as these? Oh, I have ta’en
    Too little care of this. Take physic, pomp;
    Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,
    That thou may’st shake the superflux to them,
    And show the heavens more just.”
    (Act 3, Scene 4, Lines 28-36

  • Kevin Carson

    How about this?
    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    The strength to change the things I can,
    And the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they pissed me off.

  • Scott Cattanach

    As long as it remains this apolitical, how bad can it be? :-)
    Commentary & News Briefs
    …Having just returned from a three-week trip to the combat zones in Iraq, Lt. Colonel Oliver North told a huge audience at the National Day of Prayer ceremonies in Washington yesterday that the present is a crucial time to invoke God’s power and that Americans must not forget to pray for the fighting men and women of the U.S. armed forces. The former Marine officer noted that the National Day of Prayer has historically been associated with war, the first observance of it having been proclaimed by the Continental Congress back in 1775 “as America was on the edge of a war for independence,” and he says Abraham Lincoln renewed the call for national prayer during “a war for national survival, and today, we are fighting another such war on battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan.” North says he himself is a living example of the power of prayer, and he has been amazed at the faith in God he saw displayed by the American military men and women in Iraq, who he describes as “true heroes in every sense of the word.” [Bill Fancher]
    …The honorary chairman of this year’s National Day of Prayer, Oliver North, says the U.S. troops he recently visited in Iraq “are compassionate toward the Iraqis.” And he says they regularly pray that they will do what is right. North told a prayer gathering on Capitol Hill that there is also a spiritual battle being waged in the United States — against the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and what he called “the traditional concept of marriage, biblically-based.” Other National Day of Prayer organizers warned that Americans are losing their religious rights. Attorney General John Ashcroft said he had spoken with President Bush shortly before the Capitol Hill prayer gathering. He says Bush credited his daily religious devotions with helping him carry the burdens of the presidency. [AP]…


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