May God's peace abide with you and abound in your lives and ministries!
We are living in trying times, described 3000 years ago by the psalmist when he wrote: "I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war!" Psalm 120:7"
Even so, we are called and equipped to be peacemakers. Jesus tells us, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9
What a high calling! Under the lordship of the Prince of Peace, God will use us ... one soul at a time, one prayer at a time.
Let us all join together in this prayer for peace.
"When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city.
And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said,
“Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man,
and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and
chariots of fire all around Elisha. "
II Kings 6:15-17
Our Father in heaven, we rejoice that You are a God who is near to Your children and promise to dwell among us and to live within us. Such grace is too wonderful to describe; yet in Christ Jesus, Your Son, You have afforded us the privilege of walking in such fellowship with You. For in this bond of faith with our Savior, there is true peace. Yet in the world around us, there is no peace.
We recall the condition of the world in the days of Noah, when You saw that the wickedness of humankind was great upon the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. As a dog returns to his vomit, so this world has returned to the days of Noah, and of its prideful denial of You as our Creator and Your Son as our Redeemer.
Merciful Lord, pour forth Your grace to bring healing to Your creation; for Jesus' sake, restore us to a right relationship with You. For nothing short of a miraculous intervention on Your part can deliver us from the power and dominion of sin and of Satan's evil designs and devices.
The situation in our world grows increasingly more alarming. On a global scale, nation aligns against nation and political ideology against political ideology. Military forces take action against tribes or people groups or religions, practicing genocide with impunity. Troops and armament amass on national borders as a potential prelude to war. In our own nation, illegal actions of human trafficking, sexual subjugation, drug running, violence, and murder attempt to stay hidden from our view. Tensions rise and violence spirals out of control.
Great forces are at work! The sin of humanity is coupled with the machinations of the devil. The enormity and complexity of our problems reveals our impotency and incapacity to fix them. Humanity’s inability to live in peace with You, O LORD, and with each other has reached a tipping point. We are in desperate need of Your divine intervention.
O Holy Spirit, You have been sent into the world to bear witness to the Father's good and gracious will. You inspire men and women and children to pray always and not to lose heart. Stir Your people to pray with absolute trust that You are able to do all things. For it is still Your loving will and purpose that all be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth; and that in this truth, people may experience peace not only with God, but also with one another.
Grant to us such a faith to pray and believe that You can and will intervene so as to transform this present world of darkness and chaos into Your kingdom of light and truth. For Your inspired Word reveals that there is more going on than what meets the human eye.
You gave Elisha, Your prophet, eyes to see the invisible angelic host which was present to protect the army of Israel when it seemed that the King of Syria would surely overtake and destroy Your people with his multitude of soldiers, equipped with horses and chariots. Yet when the enemy charged forward, You listened to the prayer of Elisha and struck the opposing army with blindness; and Your prophet redirected the Syrian army right into the capital city of Samaria.
Then, although the king of Israel could have slaughtered his fierce enemy, Your prophet instructed him to set food and drink before them. In so doing, You turned enemies into friends; and there was peace. Then, conflict ceased between those two warring nations.
O LORD, our great and gracious God, You have shown us such works of Your goodness and grace so that we might not lose heart, but rather pray for peace and believe that peace is possible with Your divine hand intervening. For You are the unchanging God, whose power and wisdom and love are unmatched and undiminished, and whose ways are the ways of peace.
Move mightily in Your Church to bring its pastors and people to pray for peace and to believe it. Give us a vision of Your kingdom coming with power and love. May we so identify with the hurting and hungry and oppressed, for whom justice has been denied, that we pray fervently and act faithfully. Bring truth to bear on those who have usurped proper authority and have seized power by deception and force. Break the power of the oppressors of this world. Reveal and prosecute the hidden crimes which misuse and abuse the weak and vulnerable. Raise up leaders who are wise and courageous, compassionate and fair-minded, and who walk before You in humility and integrity.
"Dona nobis pacem!" Grant us Your peace. And so we pray: May Your Name be hallowed among us, may Your kingdom come to us, and may Your will be done by us. We ask this in the Name of Him who brought us peace with You through His atoning sacrifice, Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.
Lead On, O King Eternal
Lead on, O King Eternal, The day of march has come;
Henceforth in fields of conquest Thy tents shall be our home.
Through days of preparation Thy grace has made us strong;
And now, O King Eternal, We lift our battle song.
Lead on, O King Eternal, Till sin’s fierce war shall cease,
And holiness shall whisper The sweet Amen of peace.
For not with swords’ loud clashing, Nor roll of stirring drums;
With deeds of love and mercy The heavenly kingdom comes.
Lead on, O King Eternal, We follow, not with fears,
For gladness breaks like morning Where’er Thy face appears.
Thy cross is lifted o’er us, We journey in its light;
The crown awaits the conquest; Lead on, O God of might.
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