Using the 11th Step / St. Francis Prayer

The Saint Francis Assisi Prayer, often used as an 11th Step Prayer in Alcoholics Anonymous, is an immensely popular and empowering prayer used in recovery.

Anyone moving through recovery will eventually encounter the prayer and will get to work through its significance and impact on their spirituality, life, and outlook.

If you’re just starting your recovery journey, finding context and adding meaning to the Saint Francis Assisi Prayer can help you to utilize it. The prayer is inspirational, and with popular recordings of it set to music by popular musicians like Bing Crosby, Sarah McLachlan, and even Dream Theater, can be listened to and enjoyed in a wide variety of formats.

What is the Prayer of Saint Francis Assisi?

The Saint Francis Assisi prayer is a short prayer about finding forgiveness, uplifting others, and finding hope in light of problems. The prayer reads:

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offence, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.”

While the prayer is called the “Saint Francis Assisi Prayer”, we actually don’t know who wrote it. Instead, it’s been traced as far back as 1912, at a French spiritual magazine. It may have been written by the Saint; it may not have been. That doesn’t detract from its power and inspiration. That holds true from the prayer’s usage in popular song, to its pillar placement as part of the 11th step

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