Given the chaos, distrust and darkness we witness in the world around us, it is often difficult for each of us to know what we can do to bring hope, healing and positive change. Will there ever be peace on earth? How can one person make a difference? While these questions can be overwhelming, the truth is that each one of us can and does have an effect on the world around us.
In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” We are, each one of us, the light that can drive out darkness.
Here’s one way you can be that light: We invite you to take the St. Luke’s 21-Day Peace Challenge by saying or singing the St. Francis Prayer for Peace daily for 21 days September 1 – 21. If you’re just reading this, know that you can start your 21-day challenge at any time.
Why 21 days? It takes repeating an action for 21 days for this act to become a habit.
Why did we choose this prayer out of the thousands available? Two reasons:
1. This prayer is not a passive request, rather it is one of action – that we become a partner and collaborator with God, a vehicle for God’s peace and grace in the world. We encourage you to say it daily, every morning or every night, or both. Say it with intention, with feeling, from your heart. Know that the power of your prayer and your words will then shine like a beacon in the darkness, enveloping the world in light.
2. The operative idea in this prayer is to be peace. When we embody peace and love, and not just think it or wish for it, we have the potential to transform the world. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Peace begins from within and until you find peace in your heart, you will not find peace in the world.
As a conclusion to our challenge, we invite you to join us for a special peace Taizé service on Thursday, September 21 at 7pm. Taizé is a candlelight service with reflective music and chants, readings, and a time of silence for quiet prayer offering an opportunity to be still and be present with God, and find inspiration to become bearers of peace to our hurting world.
Take the 21-Day Peace Challenge. Make peace a habit in your life. - Donna Visocky
Peace Prayer of St. Francis Cards (download here or pick up at church):
If you would like to sing the prayer, but aren't familiar with the tune, here are four different versions. Many others can be found on YouTube:
*Second to last line is slightly different on these two videos.