This prayer is on my mind today. It is often wrongly attributed to St. Francis, but is clearly modern.
When something like this is repeated by enough different people, it can start to sound like a cliché, but none of these requests are trivial-minded! The only real flaw with the structure is that it focusses on the word "me" far too often for a prayer that is supposed to be about "self-forgetting". Nevertheless, there is some real spiritual beauty here that is worth meditating on:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, 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.
Lord, may it be so! And as every Eastern Orthodox priest recites during the liturgy: "Forgive those who hate us, and those that love us." Amen.