Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

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26 Praying for Peace

2 Thessalonians 3:16 – “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.”

The terror attacks of groups like isis remind us of the wickedness and unrest that ravish our war weary world today. They also remind us of the renewed need to pray for peace. Are you pursuing praying for peace in the hearts of people?  As Paul closes his letter to the church in Thessalonica he prays for them that they would experience true peace, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.” This is a church that began in the throes of persecution, where new believers were subjected to assault, civil prosecution and economic persecution (Acts 17:8-9). This is more than just a model prayer for peace, this is a prayer that points to the power of peace, the very presence of Jesus. It is here that Paul weaves into the fabric of prayer a revelation of Jesus Christ whose person assures us that our petition will be granted. As Paul points to Jesus as the LORD OF PEACE he is reminding us that he is the:

  • Presider of Peace

Over the years there have been many who have presided over peace talks and negotiations. Some have secured peace treaties while others have even won peace awards like the “Nobel Peace Prize”. Yet in Jesus we have one who is not simply a presider at peace treaties, he is the presider of peace itself. When we cry out to Christ and pray for peace we are not depending on one who merely negotiates, arbitrates, or compromises for peace. No when we pray to Jesus Isaiah 9:6 reminds us that we are praying to the Prince of peace, the One who is able to command peace. This is the One Luke says commanded the winds and the waves to be calm, (Luke 8:24). When you pray remember that you are praying to the presider of peace. Not only is Jesus the presider but He is also the:

  • Presenter of our Peace

How distressing and depressing it would be if peace rested solely on the results of our efforts. If that were the case, that it rested only on our work would we really ever obtain it? But Paul here declares that Jesus Christ is the presenter of our peace, “Now may the Lord of peace himself GIVE you his peace” Paul in his prayer is reminding us that peace is a gift given by God. Yes there is a peace we must labor for, a peace that comes as a result of our relationships with others. Jesus in Matthew 5:9 promised a blessing to the peacemakers, those who work for peace: “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” When it comes to peace with others we must work for it but the peace that permeates and creates harmony in our heart is not attained through our efforts. The reality is that the harder we try to achieve an inner heart peace the more it evades our grasp because inner peace is a gift from God. Paul also reminds us that Jesus is the One who personally presents this gift to us. This is personal you see it is one thing to receive a care package in the mail it’s another when the person giving the gift shows up personally to present it to us. Paul prays: “Now may the Lord of peace HIMSELF, give you his peace” Not only is Jesus the presenter of peace but He is also the:

  • Preserver of our Peace

The peace which many trying to secure today is shallow and temporary, here today and gone tomorrow. The peace which most people talk about is either a past peace, that they remember and reminisce over or a future peace they are forever looking forward to, but few seem to be enjoying the peace of God now. Paul says that we can enjoy God’s peace in the present tense; at least that is the implication of Paul’s prayer “NOW may the Lord of Peace himself give you his peace…” This is not only a present peace but there is a promise that this peace is of the caliber that it will keep on lasting. It is not temporary like the world gives, no Pauls prayer reads: “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at ALL times.” This is not a peace limited to certain times in our life but is available to us ALL the time. Jesus is also the:

  • Prescriber of our Peace

This is seen in the phrase “in every situation” the King James says ”by all means” It would be easy to pass right over this part of the prayer but we need to especially pay attention to this detail. For when we make these words part of our personal prayer for peace, we are living by faith. We are saying that we trust God’s wisdom in the way that He chooses to answer.  We trust Him to provide peace by all means, regardless of the context that the answer comes in. It could come through joy or sorrow, health or suffering, wealth or poverty, the point is that we surrender to His purpose and His prescription of peace. We show our maturity by how much we trust the Master because the matter of our peace is in the hands of a faithful Father. As Paul closes his prayer we see in his final words the hub around which all the others revolve, it is here that we see that Jesus is the:

  • Presence of our Peace

“The Lord be with you”. Without His presence the fact that He is the presider, presenter, preserver, and prescriber of peace would be of little consequence. Because we are blood bought children of God the Lord is with us which means that all the benefits of his presence belong to us. It  should be a great comfort to know that Jesus is with us but many Christians today rarely benefit from this knowledge because they are so distracted by the world that they have simply lose all awareness of His presence. This is what happened with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, Jesus was right there with them walking and talking to them yet they failed to have inner peace because their minds were diverted from the Lord. They were caught up in their circumstances instead of in Christ, they were living overwhelmed lives instead of being overcomers. Only when they were redirected and recognized the presence of the Lord did they experience peace (Luke 24:13-35). So today what are you praying for, are you petitioning the Lord for peace in the hearts of people?