Prayer Of Saint Francis With Lyrics

Prayer Of Saint Francis With Lyrics

The Spiritual Journey of the “Prayer of Saint Francis” – A Musical Odyssey

OYWM – Hey there, my friend! As a fellow music artist who loves to explore the world, I’ve got a really special story to share with you about one of my favorite spiritual anthems – the “Prayer of Saint Francis”. This timeless piece of sacred music has become a constant companion on my travels, weaving its way through the diverse landscapes and cultures I’ve had the privilege of experiencing.

Let me tell you, the “Prayer of Saint Francis” is more than just a beautiful song – it’s a portal into the profound teachings and legacy of one of history’s most revered spiritual figures, St. Francis of Assisi. As I’ve discovered, this prayer’s message of peace, compassion, and unity has the power to transcend religious boundaries and speak to the heart of the human experience, no matter where in the world you find yourself.


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’s in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Lyrics and Meaning

The lyrics of the “Prayer of Saint Francis” are based on the life and teachings of St. Francis, who lived in the 13th century and is renowned for his devotion to the poor, love of nature, and commitment to nonviolence. The prayer, which is often referred to as the “Peace Prayer,” goes like this:

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.

Now, when you really dive into the meaning behind these words, you start to see why this prayer has resonated with people of all faiths and backgrounds for centuries. It’s a powerful reminder to put the needs of others before our own, to seek to understand rather than be understood, and to find joy in the act of service and self-sacrifice.

And as a music artist, I can’t help but be drawn to the way the lyrics’ poetic and rhythmic qualities lend themselves so beautifully to musical interpretation. The repetition of phrases like “where there is…” creates a sense of contemplation and introspection, while the final stanza’s emphasis on “giving,” “pardoning,” and “dying” evokes a profound spiritual transformation.

Musical Interpretations

Over the years, the “Prayer of St. Francis” has been set to music by countless composers and artists, each bringing their own unique style and perspective to the piece. And as I’ve discovered on my travels, these diverse musical interpretations can offer insights into the prayer’s universal appeal and its ability to transcend cultural and religious boundaries.

One of my personal favorites is the version recorded by the legendary Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, whose soulful, a cappella rendition captures the simplicity and sincerity of the original text. The rich, harmonious vocals and subtle vocal embellishments create a sense of timelessness and contemplation that really resonates with me.

Another interpretation that I find particularly moving is the one recorded by the Taizé Community, a renowned ecumenical Christian monastic order. Their version features a gentle, repetitive melody that invites the listener to meditate on the prayer’s message, with the overlapping voices creating a hypnotic, meditative quality.

And then there’s the beautiful classical setting by composer John Rutter, which showcases the prayer’s lyrical and emotive qualities through a sweeping, orchestral arrangement. The soaring melodies and lush harmonies evoke a sense of grandeur and spiritual transcendence that can be truly transformative.

Discovering the Prayer Around the World

As I’ve traveled the globe, I’ve been amazed to discover the “Prayer of St. Francis” in the most unexpected places, each encounter offering a unique perspective on its enduring significance.

In the bustling streets of Kolkata, India, I stumbled upon a small, unassuming church where I heard the prayer being sung in Bengali, the local language. The lilting, melodic rendition, accompanied by the gentle strumming of sitars and tablas, was a powerful reminder of the prayer’s ability to cross cultural and linguistic boundaries.

And in the tranquil forests of Kyoto, Japan, I had the privilege of attending a Zen Buddhist ceremony where the prayer was recited in Japanese, its familiar words taking on a new depth and resonance within the context of a non-Christian tradition.

Perhaps one of the most moving experiences was in the war-torn city of Aleppo, Syria, where I witnessed a group of children singing the prayer in Arabic, their voices carrying a message of hope and resilience amidst the devastation of conflict.

The Prayer’s Universal Appeal

As I reflect on these encounters, I’m struck by the universal appeal of the “Prayer of St. Francis” and its ability to transcend religious, cultural, and linguistic barriers. While the prayer has its origins in the Christian tradition, its themes of peace, compassion, and service resonate with people of all faiths and beliefs.

In fact, I’ve even discovered that the prayer has been adapted and translated into numerous languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Swahili, and Mandarin, further testament to its global reach and timeless relevance.

And what’s truly remarkable is the way the prayer’s adaptability has allowed it to be embraced by diverse communities and traditions, from Buddhist temples to Muslim mosques to secular humanitarian organizations. It’s as if the prayer’s message of unity and interconnectedness has the power to speak to the very core of the human experience, regardless of one’s cultural or religious background.

The Prayer as a Spiritual Guide

For me, the “Prayer of St. Francis” has become more than just a beautiful piece of music – it’s a spiritual companion that has guided me through the joys and challenges of my life as a traveling musician.

When I’m feeling overwhelmed by the chaos and complexity of the world, the prayer’s simple yet profound words remind me to slow down, listen, and seek to understand rather than to be understood. And when I’m faced with difficult or complex situations, the prayer’s emphasis on forgiveness, compassion, and self-sacrifice helps me to approach them with a more generous and open-hearted perspective.

But perhaps most importantly, the “Prayer of St. Francis” has inspired me to live and create in a way that aligns with its core values – to be a peacemaker, a healer, and a beacon of hope in a world that so often feels divided and disconnected.


As I wrap up this journey through the spiritual and musical landscape of the “Prayer of St. Francis,” I can’t help but feel a deep sense of gratitude and awe at the power of this timeless piece of sacred music.

Whether I’m performing it for a packed concert hall or simply reflecting on its message in the solitude of my hotel room, the “Prayer of St. Francis” continues to be a touchstone and a guide that helps me navigate the ups and downs of life as a traveling musician.

So if you ever find yourself in need of a little spiritual nourishment or a reminder of the transformative power of compassion and service, I invite you to pick up this prayer, let it wash over you, and discover the magic and wonder that it has to offer.

Who knows, it just might become your own spiritual companion on the journey of life.


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