Be Peacemakers Prayer – International Day of Peace
Athaly Jenkinson, East London – With the International Day of Peace to be celebrated worldwide today (September 21), it’s urgent that we reflect on praying for peace.
Partly due to the “self-centredness” in all DNA from our basic instincts of “self-preservation” and “belonging to groups”, our planet earth and society are sick, suffering, “sinful and sorrowful”. So last year the appeal for prayer for South Africa and Africa was widened to include the entire world. Its title is “Be Peacemakers”.
However, the spelling-check on the computer rendered this as “Be Pacemakers”.
No Coincidences for God
Before we are too amused, the deeply Catholic actor Jim Caviezel believes (as quoted in your interview of May 17) that “there are no coincidences for God”.
So we find that “pacemaker” is the medical term for the vital regulation of the heartbeat, or a device to assist this. It is an “instrument” to “change hearts”.
The “Peace Prayer” of St Francis of Assisi urges us to change hearts, attitudes and mindsets.
Hearts have been regarded as the “seat of love” since earliest times. St Francis was one of many saints devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and St Thérèse of Lisieux wrote: “May prayer and sacrifice be your whole strength; they, far better than words, can move hearts.”
Jesus came in self-sacrifice and service to teach us to overcome our “self-centredness”, to love one another, and to pray for God’s help to achieve this. Jesus urged us to be “peacemakers”.
Make Me a Channel of Your Peace
Was Pope Francis perhaps thinking of this during a meeting when he urged President Donald Trump to “be a peacemaker”, and when he made his worldwide appeal for “a minute of prayer”?
-Let us pray the Be Peacemakers Prayer for the world. Let us plead for the help of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who came in self-sacrifice and service to teach us to learn to love one another, our neighbour, our enemy, and ask his Mother Mary (who did the same) and the angels, saints, martyrs, holy souls and our brothers and sisters everywhere to pray with us for our troubled world.
-Let us say the rosary (or a decade, or Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be) and the Fatima prayer, followed by: “O God of justice and love, bless us, the people of (country), (continent) and the world, and help us to live in your mercy, love, justice and peace. Grant us gentleness of spirit and understanding of heart so that we may enfold your earth in lasting friendship and peace.”
– Let us follow with the Peace Prayer of St Francis (as adapted in 1985 by the SACBC):
“Lord, make me an instrument (channel) of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me bring love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, harmony. Grant that we may not so much seek to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love, to receive sympathy as to give it—for it is in giving that we shall receive; in pardoning that we shall be pardoned; in forgetting ourselves that we shall find unending peace with others.”
St Francis, help us to heal the earth and transform society not just by social justice but also by changing hearts, mindsets and attitudes, including our own.
Let us pray often, alone or with others, and pass the message on across the world. Let us be true peacemakers.