Today, I would like to introduce three prayers by three different people.
As we read these prayers, we may recognize who they are and what they hope for.
First one is “The Serenity Prayer” by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971).
Who is Reinhold Niebuhr?
One time, he was like a Michael Jordan in a theological world about 60 years ago.
“God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
“Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it, trusting that You will make all things right, if I surrender to Your will, so that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen.”
This person must have struggled between serenity and the need to change.
Then he realizes that he also learns to surrender to God’s will, trusting that God will make all things right.
Another prayer is a prayer of St Francis (1181/1182 – 1226)
“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.
Based on this prayer, what do think about St Francis?
He wants to serve in order to create more love, pardon, faith, hope, light and joy.
In order to do those, he wants to console, understand, love, give, forgive and die for God.
This is what he learned from Jesus.
The last prayer is “Lord’s Prayer” of Jesus Christ (5 BC/BCE – 30 AD/CE).
He taught us to pray:
“Our Father in heaven, holy is your name, your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil one.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
There are few things that are important to Jesus.
Jesus wants God’s will and plan be accomplished.
He wants that we live a life of forgiveness.
For this, Jesus was ready to give his life.