Happy St Francis Day – Prayers for the Day


It is St Francis Day and as you can imagine the blogosphere is alive with prayers, reflections and blessings. I am not an expert on St Francis so thought I would leave the descriptions and explanations to those that are, like my friend Jamie Arpin Ricci. I suggest that you read this helpful article The Gospel According to St Francis he wrote a couple of years ago.

Here are some of my favourite St Francis Prayers.

This prayer commonly associated with St Francis was not actually written by him as Daniel Horan explains in Living the Prayer of St Francis With All Creation but is still a good reminder of all he stood for.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

O 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.

Or you may prefer this form to meditate on

I particularly love this rendition written for international women’s day a couple of years ago

A Franciscan Prayer for International Women’s Day

I love this prayer which Micha Jazz posted on the Light for the Journey Facebook page this morning

Prayer for St Francis’ Feast

Francis, the destitute and lowly, enters heaven a rich man, acclaimed by the songs of angels!

Lord God, you made Saint Francis of Assisi
Christ-like in his poverty and humility.
Help us so to walk in his ways that,
with joy and love,
we may follow Christ your Son,
and be united to you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Francis, the destitute and lowly, enters heaven a rich man, acclaimed by the songs of angels!

And finally a beautiful song/prayer/poem of praise from the Franciscan Friars.

The Praises of God

Lord God:
you alone are holy,
you who work wonders!
You are strong, you are great,
you are the Most High,
you are the almighty King,
you, holy Father, King of heaven and earth.

Lord God: you are Three and you are One,
you are goodness, all goodness,
you are the higest Good,
Lord God, living and true.

You are love and charity, you are wisdom,
you are humility, you are patience,
you are beauty, you are sweetness,
you are sefety, you are rest, you are joy,
you are our hope
and our delight,
you are justice, you are moderation
you are all our wealth
and riches overflowing.

You are beauty, you are gentleness,
you are our shelter, our guard
and our defender,
you are strength, you are refreshment,
you are our hope.
you are our faith.
you are our love,
you are our complete consolation,
you are our life everlasting,
great and wonderful Lord,
all powerful God, merciful Savior!


And for those who might like to read more prayers and what I have written in previous years for St Francis day.

Let Us Desire Nothing But God – A Prayer by St Francis of Assisi

A Franciscan Prayer of Blessing

Blessing the Animals – Litanies and other resources



A Prayer for those in Granbury West Texas

via Associated Press. Photo by Mike Fuertes

The first piece of news that caught my attention this morning was about the devastating tornados that sped through West Texas last night killing at least 12 people. My heart aches for people whose lives and livelihoods have been destroyed in a few terrifying minutes.

Then I received a message from my friend Cherie Minton who together with her husband Jack heads up Hope Force International. Her request: “Pray for the first responders.” Coincidently my gospel reading for the morning was the story of the Good Samaritan. First responders – good samaritans, strangers become neighbours, those who respond to the divine spark of love within to show mercy, compassion and love to complete strangers often putting their own lives at risk in the process.

This was the background out of which I wrote my prayer this morning.

Lord of mercy,

Be with those who suffer.

Into their broken lives,

Bring hope and peace.

Into their devastated communities,

Bring restoration.

Lord of mercy,

Be with those who respond.

In their bravery,

Keep them safe.

In their compassion,

Show your love.

In their faces,

May we see Jesus.

A Prayer for the Second Sunday of Lent – 2013

I wrote this prayer a couple of years ago but have added the photo this year to provide a focus for reflection during this season.

God our hearts are heavy - small.001.001

Prayers for the Journey

The end of another week. I hope you enjoy these prayers that have been posted on Light for the Journey in the last few days.  Thanks to Bonnie Harr, John Birch and Micha Jazz for their contributions.

Grant us willingness

I trust in you O Lord,
Not the one I think I understand
But you who are unknowable.
I trust in you O Lord,
Not the one who is as small as I am
But you who are immeasurably great.
I trust in you O Lord,
Not the one who sits uncaring in a far off heaven
But you came down to be one of us
You who are concerned for every person, every creature and every happening here on earth.

(c) Christine Sine


May I hold close O Lord,
To the wonder of who you are.
May I hold close O Lord
To the wisdom of what you teach.
May I hold close O Lord
To your ways that are high then mine.
May I hold close O Lord
And never let you go.

(c) Christine Sine


Love grows
as it is given,
as it is shown.
Love flows
like a steam,
that which is sown.

Love grows
as it is spoken,
hearts and souls.
Love flows,
like a river
empty vessels full.

Love grows
as it is taken,
as it is shared.
Love flows
like an ocean
around the world.



Contemplative Network

Certain I am that Christ was born
Of Jewish maid of Nazareth;
That this lone child of lowly bed
Enthroned God’s living breath

I was not there, I have no proof
Of scientific facts to give,
But I believe with all my mind
He died that dying worlds should live

Today this beauty drips with blood
The tree of life is scorched and bare;
Why did you die, when now your pain
Seems valued as the vapid air

Mary Denyer (posted by Contemplative Network)


Lord Jesus Christ
You are the breath of life to me,
You are the touch of love to me,
You are the words of truth to me,
In you alone I place me trust.

(c) Christine Sine


Lord Jesus Christ,
May I die to the old ways of living,
And be born again.
May I take on a new way of being
And allow your life and love
To enliven all I am and do.
May I look and see
That this truly is abundant life.

(c) Christine Sine


Lord Jesus Christ,
May I die to the old ways of living,
And be born again.
May I take on a new way of being
And allow your life and love
To enliven all I am and do.
May I look and see
That this truly is abundant life.

(c) Christine Sine


May we go into the world today knowing we are
God breathed, Son drenched, Spirit filled.
May we go into the day,
Breathing life,
Drenched with love,
Filled with joy.

(c) Christine Sine


May our hearts
always be ready
to be troubled
by injustice.
May our hands
always be ready
to share the load
of a stranger.
May our feet
always be ready
if asked to go
that extra mile.
May our pride
always be ready
to be humbled
before we fall.
May our love
always be ready
to be shared out
with those in need.
May our lives
always be ready
to be a lamp
in this dark world.



May morning be astir with the harvest of night;

Your mind quickening to the eros of a new question,

Your eyes seduced by some unintended glimpse

That cut right through the surface to a source.

John O’Dononhue

posted by The Contemplative Network


May we fit together in the way God intends
United by the bonds of peace,
Equipped to do good works,
Built up in the body of Christ.
May we help each other grow,
into the standards Christ proclaims
So that the whole body is healthy and full of love.

(c) Christine Sine

Morning Prayer - Bonnie Harr


Prayers for the Journey

This week’s summing up of Facebook prayers is written from Sydney Australia where I am currently visiting my Mum. I have found myself sitting quietly each morning enjoying the bird sound and reflecting on the prayers that others have written and reflecting on Mary De Jong’s post on Ordinary Blessings. I  hope that you enjoy them too.

Labyrinth Bonnie Harr

Labyrinth Bonnie Harr – In His Footsteps

New Dawn

O Lord,
At each new dawn
You draw back the veil of the heavens
writing messages to all, and some see.

What do you require?

To do justice ~
To love mercy ~
To walk humbly ~
To walk with You. . .

Teach us that fairness is not justice;
mercy is not kindness, alone;
humility is not self-negation;
walking with You is everything.
Amen. B.D. Harr © 2012


prayer for Justice

prayer for Justice

God help us to dream impossible dreams,
Not for ourselves but for your kingdom coming.
Help us to pray, not for tasks within our power,
But for your power to equip us for tasks beyond our imaginings.
Help us to risk all that we have to follow you.


God may your new world be born afresh in us,
May it take root and flourish in our lives,
So that we can grow more like Christ in every way,
And bear the fruit of justice, mercy and love.


Keep us close, we pray.
Be the one to whom we turn
when faced with fear,
and questioning.
Be the rock upon which we stand,
the truth we hold to,
to which we cling.
Be the Father in whose arms
we gladly fall,
in our journeying.
Keep us close, we pray.



Christ Have mercy - A prayer for Light for the Journey

Christ Have mercy – A prayer for Light for the Journey

May the blessing of light be on you,
light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine upon you and warm your heart.

May the light shine out of your eyes,
like a candle set in the window of a house,
bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.

May the blessing of the earth be upon you, the great round earth;
may you ever have a kindly greeting for people as you’re going along the roads.
And may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly.

-Common Prayer For The World from www.waymarkers.com

Open Our Eyes Lord

Open Our Eyes Lord

Prayers for the Journey

Celtic prayer

From Mary DeJong http://waymarkers.wordpress.com/

The end of another busy week  and it is time to post prayers from my facebook page Light for the Journey. The richness of contributions from the expanding team of contributors is amazing.  As I mentioned last week, I have enlisted the help of Jamie Arpin Ricci author of The Cost of Community and founder of Litte Flowers community in Winnipeg Manitoba; Phileena Heuertz co-founder of Word Made Flesh and author ofPilgrimage of a SoulMicha Jazz a contemplative activist in Chichester UK and a member of the Axiom Monastic Community; Bonnie Harr who posts prayers and reflections at In His FootstepsJohn Birch who posts Celtic Prayers and Resources atFaith and WorshipMary Plate DeJong who leads pilgrimages to Iona Scotland and is Forest Steward for one of Seattle’s urban forests and Mark Scandrette author ofPracticing the Way of Jesus and founding director of ReIMAGINE in San Francisco.

There are too many prayers for a single post, so I will post some today and some tomorrow. If you would like to access these prayers and reflections each day (and see  all the beautiful images that accompany them) please “like” the Light for the Journey Facebook page.

God my creator,

Draw me closer.

Christ my redeemer,

Draw me closer.

Spirit my advocate,

Draw me closer.

Let the eyes of my heart rest on you.


God may I give myself only

to that which satisfies my heart,

May I give myself only

to that which strengthens my soul,

May I give myself only

to that which draws me closer to you.


God you are love,

All you are expresses love,

All you do flows from love.

Lord wipe the scales from our eyes,

That we might see what love is doing.


Eternal God, Creator of all that is,

all that was, all that will ever be.

You who made the sun and moon,

Who brought night and day into being,

Transform our darkness into light,

Renew us, restore us, redeem us,

Let your presence shine through us,

That all might see.


This is your world I step upon

the air I breathe

the food I eat

This is your world I step upon

the sounds I hear

the people I meet

This is your world I step upon

your footsteps

where I place my feet



Lord Jesus Christ let your words flow into my soul,

Let them nourish me,

Let them grow within me,

Let their truths rise up within me,

Let them give me life.


Let this moment settle in my heart,

Let all that it holds rest secure in the love of God,

Let the wonder of the holy One

radiate from the centre of my being,

Until the reality of Christ’s inner presence

Spills out into the world around me.


Bonnie Harr - Aspen Praise

Bonnie Harr – Aspen Praise

Another Prayer by Mother Teresa

Along the N.S.W.coast

The following prayer was posted on the Light for the Journey Facebook page a couple of days ago – enjoy

“We cannot find God in noise and agitation.

Nature: trees, flowers, and grass grow in silence. The stars, the moon, and the sun move in silence.

What is essential is not what we say but what God tells us and what He tells others through us.

In silence He listens to us; in silence He speaks to our souls.

In silence we are granted the privilege of listening to His voice.

Silence of our eyes.
Silence of our ears.
Silence of our mouths.
Silence of our minds.
…in the silence of the heart
God will speak.”

Mother Teresa, from No Greater Love

Earth Teach Me Stillness

Earth Teach Me To Remember.

Earth Teach Me To Remember.

It rained over the weekend, the first time in 49 days, the second longest stretch without rain on record. To some of you who live in places where drought is a way of life, this may not seem very significant, but here in Seattle we have greeted the rain and the changes it has brought, with deep gratitude and thanksgiving.

Since the rain there has been a new stillness in the air, a sense that the earth is slowing down and starting to prepare for the autumn and winter seasons. Perhaps it is just that I too am in a season of slowing down.

Tom and I have had a very busy summer celebrating at Wild Goose East and West, joining our Canadian friends at Creative World Festival, conducting our annual Celtic Prayer retreat, and entertaining a steady flow of visitors, friends and potential MSA supporters. As as that I have completed the first draft of my new book Return to Our Senses: Reimagining How We Pray, and sent it off to readers for input.

It is certainly time for stillness in my own spirit and I find that the changing season outside is a wonderful affirmation of that. Learning to hear to the promptings of my spirit calling me to slow down, sit still in the presence of God and listen is not always easy. But it is essential.

The stillness of the earth speaks of stability and constancy. It speaks of the enduring faithfulness of God who sends the seasons in their due time, who waters the earth with the spring and the autumn rains, who brings forth the harvest to nourish our bodies.

The prayer above is part of a Native American prayer that I first posted here. It reminds me to take time to listen to the wonder of God’s creation. It reminds me to take notice not just of the majestic mountains outside my window but also of the small and seemingly insignificant creatures that are so vital to the healthy thriving of our world. It also reminds me to sit quietly in the presence of the One who has created all things and whose great love is revealed in every dimension of that creation.

So sit still with me this morning. Drink in the wonder of God. Quieten your spirit and allow God to refresh and renew you.

Celtic Retreat Liturgy and Lectio Divina

The altar complete

The altar complete

Gathering Prayer: A Responsive Prayer

Eternal One you are our life,

Redeeming One you are our salvation,

Indwelling One you are our joy,

We give you thanks for the gift of this visit within your creation,  

May our hearts swell with gratitude as we enter into your presence. 

We give you thanks O God for the beauty of this land,

We give you thanks O Christ for the abundance of our lives,

We give you thanks O Spirit for the flourishing of friendship,

Most holy Trinity, One in essence Three in person,

We thank and praise you with heart and soul and mind.

God we pause in the busyness of our lives to give you thanks,

May we look back with gratitude,

May we look forward with anticipation,

May our hearts respond with thankfulness, 

And our lives respond with praise.

God may we live fully in the wonder of this moment,

Our eyes open to see in every sight a cathedral giving glory,

Our ears unstopped to hear in every sound angels singing Alleluia

May we enjoy each cathedral moment before it bursts, 

Giving thanks and praise with grateful hearts.

(Let us offer words of thanks to God)

God the fulfiller of enduring promises,

Christ the sharer of abundant love,

Spirit the giver of eternal life,

Holy Trinity, One in essence, Three in person,

For your welcome to this lavish feast of plenty, 

We praise and give you thanks this day.

God of the plentiful and ever giving heart,

Christ of the generous and overflowing bounty,

Spirit who gives enough for our own needs and abundance for every good work,

Holy Trinity, One in essence, Three in person,

For the wonder of your provision that never runs dry, 

We praise and give you thanks this day.

God whose love never gives up,

Christ whose forgiveness never says no,

Spirit whose mercy never lets go,

Holy Trinity, One in essence, Three in person,

For the hope and promise of your inexhaustible abundance, 

We praise and give you thanks this day. 

God may we always savour what each moment holds,

May we live in the promise of your love and faithfulness,

And ever trust in the One for whom all things are possible,

Holy Trinity, One in essence, Three in person,

For all that was, for all that is and for all that is to come,

We praise and give you thanks this day. 

God may we look and see your abundance pressing in all around,

Rich fruit, luxuriant growth, laden branches hanging low,

May we remember they can obscure the path that winds so narrow out before us,

Holy Trinity, One in essence, Three in person,

For your provision that is inexhaustible, a harvest that never ends,

We praise and give you thanks this day. 

God as we eat from your table of plenty,

May we see what you have placed in our hands,

Beauty beyond words, creativity beyond imagining, generosity overflowing,

Everything is God bathed, Son drenched, Spirit inspired,

May we taste and see that all you give is good,

And raise our voices in praise and thanks and gratitude.


Song: For the Beauty of the Earth

Introduction to Celtic tradition 

Setting up the Altar

Decorating the altar

Decorating the altar

God as we gather from your beautiful creation to build our altar,

Open our eyes to see the many gifts you pour into our lives.

We come to you with grateful hearts and thankful spirits,

Allowing love of you to bubble up from within us and overflow.

May we seek you with teachable spirits,

Willing to obey, to trust and to serve.

Let our lives give thanks as a sacrifice that truly honours you.

May we follow this path and see the revelation of your salvation.

(Go out to collect items for decorating the altar)

Regathering song – Morning Has Broken

Introduction to Lectio Divina

Teach us to pray O Lord with gratitude and thankfulness,

Draw us closer to you, to your world, to each other.

Teach us to pray O Lord with compassion and love and forgiveness.

Open our eyes and our ears and our mouths,

Teach us to pray O Lord with joy and praise and faithfulness.

Until all that we are and all that we do,

Becomes a gift of prayer to you.

Scriptures for Lectio Divina & meditation

Psalm 100 (NLT)

Colossians 3:12-17 (NLT)

Song to end with – God Alone Suffices

Meditating sitting on the logs

Meditating sitting on the logs

The Retreat Is Over – Liturgies & Photos.

Celebrating the beginning of building

Celebrating the beginning of building

Our 21st annual Celtic retreat is over, from my perspective the best that we have ever had. Sitting amongst the trees, soaking in the beauty of the land, participating in Jeff Johnson’s melodies, fellowshipping with friends old and new enriched and enlivened our day in ways that I could never have imagined.

Morning worship

Morning worship

I always love the decorating of the altar which begins our retreat with a sense of connectedness to the land.

Decorating the altar

Decorating the altar

Jeff’s evening Selah service was a particularly worshipful and contemplative time for me.

Jeff Johnson Selah service

Jeff Johnson Selah service

We had lots of fun activities for the afternoon. Artistic crafts to do, prayer trails to walk and labyrinths to meditate in.

Painting prayers on rocks became works of art

Painting prayers on rocks became works of Celtic art

Prayer flags became works of art too

Prayer flags became works of art too

Unexpected art - Kayra makes a Celtic cross

Unexpected art – Kayra makes a Celtic cross

The logs became the focus of our time together in so many ways. They provided places to sit and meditate, a focal point for lunch conversations and in the afternoon the centre of our dedication of the beginning building.

Meditating sitting on the logs

Meditating sitting on the logs

lunch on the logs

lunch on the logs

Dedicating the logs

Dedicating the logs

And the eucharist led by episcopal priest Bob Dietel was the crowning glory of our celebration

Eucharistic elements on the altar

Eucharistic elements on the altar

For more photos check out Andy Wade’s great slide show on the MSA blog :

Celebration, Retreat Prayer and Imagination. 

And the liturgies should be posted this afternoon.