Novena for Peace Prayers & Reflection Questions
The ritual for any prayer discipline can be as elaborate or as simple as is comfortable for you. Below are suggestions for the Novena for Peace 2017.
STEP 1: In preparation for your time of meditation and prayer, find a quiet place where you can sit or recline comfortably. Take a moment to center yourself. Call all of your being into this moment leaving all your cares and worries for another time.
Breathe deeply. If you like, light a candle or tap a prayer bowl. Surrender yourself to a loving awareness of yourself in relationship to your Creator.
STEP 2: The Novena begins with an opening prayer. You can begin with any prayer or thought that enables you to go within, to become more aware.
I like the Peace Prayer of St. Francis because it is a simple and eloquent prescription for living a life of love and peace.
The Prayer of St. Francis: 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.
Oh, 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.
STEP 3: When your opening prayer is complete, reflect on how you are in the world right now and throughout the last twenty-four hours. Below are a list of questions to consider as you seek Divine Presence in all things.
You need not answer every question every day. Simply use them to become more aware of your thoughts and actions throughout the day so that you may discover the ways in which Divine Love interacts with you moment by moment.
Reflection & Meditation Questions:
- When was I able to experience love, compassion, and/or forgiveness today; where was the Sacred One in that?
- Was I able to be the face of Divine Love for others, showing compassion or forgiveness? Thinking over my day, did I miss an opportunity to offer compassion or forgiveness?
- Did I look for and see the face of God in others, accepting God’s love from them?
- In what ways small or large have I been an instrument of peace? Where was God present in that?
- What robbed me of my peace today? Can I find God there too? Do I let God call to me in my frustration, anger, confusion, and hurt? Do I let God in when I am not perfect?
- Is there someone who needs the compassion or forgiveness that I uniquely can give? Is there someone whose understanding and forgiveness I need? What must I surrender or embrace to allow that to come to pass?
- Do I trust Divine Love enough to give freely of myself without expectation of understanding, forgiveness, or love in return?
STEP 4: When your meditation is complete, offer a closing prayer of thanksgiving for the insights or awareness you’ve discovered. The prayer below is an example.
Creator of the Universe, you are the author of all life, all love, all compassion, and all peace. For this I give thanks.
In gratitude for all I’ve been given, and with faith and hope in your immense Love within me, I seek to join my heart and voice with all who desire to become instruments of peace.
I seek the courage and strength to act compassionately with discernment rather than judgment and with unconditional love and forgiveness.
Help me to walk each day conscious of our Oneness and your Presence in me and in all others so that I might fearlessly live out your command to love my neighbor as myself.
May your day be filled with blessings.