Let Me be Used as an Instrument

We are inundated with negativity everyday of our lives.  We see it on television, we hear it on the radio, we sense it on our jobs and we endure it in our families.  I am participating in a spiritual retreat in a few weeks behind the walls of a prison.  One of my assignments is to focus on the Prayer of St. Francis.  It reads:

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
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;
and 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. Amen

I’m still in the preliminary stages of my study, but I have some preliminary thoughts on this wonderful prayer.  Instead of being a part of the problem or complaining about the problems of this world, I want to be an instrument used by God.

      Conflict:  In the midst of conflicts all around me, I will strive to be a peacemaker.  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”  Matt. 5:9
2.      Hate:  I will love in the face of hate.  “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  MLK, Jr.
3.      Injury:  Where I have suffered injury, I will forgive.  I will encourage others to do the same!
4.      Doubt:  When I doubt, I will encourage myself in the scriptures.  When others doubt, I will listen, love and encourage them.
5.      Despair:  When in despair, I will remember that God will never leave me nor forsake me.  Deut. 31:6 When others are in despair, I will tell them that despite what they are going through, “I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor their seed begging for bread.”  Psalm 37:25 
6.      Darkness:  In every dark situation, I will remind myself and others, that in the darkest moments in life, the Lord is there.  He is the light of the world.  He will not leave us as orphans, but He promises the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit will comfort us.
7.      Sadness:  Sadness will most certainly come into our lives, but we will overcome!  Joy does come in the morning!  Our trials are temporary and cannot compare to what the Lord has in store for us.
So my friends, as we encourage ourselves, let us encourage others.  When we minister to others, God ministers to us!  Let us love deeply.  Let us have compassion for our neighbors.  Let us pour out ourselves as a drink offering.  For it is when we stop focusing on our own problems is when God does amazing things in us and through us!!


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