Could peace be both a want and a need? The short answer is yes. The long answer, well, that depends on our circumstances. But what is peace anyway? A feeling? An emotion? A moment in time? A state of being? Ask different people and you’re bound to get different answers.
Is peace a need or a want? Based on how much we use the word, the answer isn’t so black and white. Politicians talk about bringing peace to our communities and the world. Musicians sing about longing for peace. Sometimes we talk about desiring peace and quiet on a weekend evening or searching for peace in our relationships.
Could peace be both a want and a need? The short answer is yes. The long answer, well, that depends on our circumstances. But what is peace anyway? A feeling? An emotion? A moment in time? A state of being?
Ask different people and you’re bound to get different answers. Turn to the dictionary and you’ll also get different answers. Peace can be described as an agreement between two warring parties, a time of harmony, or the absence of suffering and conflict. These definitions are not wrong, and oftentimes, even believers view peace in these ways. The last one is especially true.
We pray for peace in place of suffering. There’s another truth to consider in our understanding of peace. The Bible gives insight too, and it describes peace in a noticeably different way.
What does the Bible say about Peace?
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”
From Jesus Himself, we learn something important, a two-fold promise. There’s a promise that life will include suffering and a promise that peace will be available in spite of that suffering. This is where the earthly and divine understandings of peace diverge. Peace doesn’t always preclude suffering, but suffering can always include peace. Of course, this is easier said than done. Thankfully, we know through Jesus such a feat is possible.
The Bible says a few more things about peace too. We find more evidence that God’s peace is different from the world.
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful.”
We discover how to find peace - focusing our perspective on God, not ourselves or our troubles.
“Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."
We understand that Jesus is the Prince of Peace
“For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
Seek True Peace in God
We conclude that in our Christian lives, peace is not the absence of bad feelings or poor circumstances. Instead, even when we find ourselves in dire straits, while we could be overwhelmed with the bad, we can find Jesus too. Scripture tells us how to get peace and who gives it. He’s the Prince of Peace, trustworthy, with an unending supply for those who seek Him. The world gives peace too, but that peace is different, weaker, shorter, and far less divine.
If you’re in pursuit of God’s peace today, then you’re already on the right track. Peace comes with a shift in perspective. Prayer is a great way to achieve that vantage point. Here are 5 beautiful prayers for peace that you can say on behalf of yourself and others.
Here are five Prayers for Peace to pray today:
A Prayer for Peace from Controlling Tendencies
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” (Galatians 5:22)
God, I’ll be the first to tell you, I know a great deal about control. That’s because I strive so hard to find it. At work, at home, in my activities, in my relationships. As much as I exhaust myself for control, I also know firsthand control of life is not always for me to have. That’s your job. You oversee all things and all people. Lord, I ask that you would help me recognize my place in life. Please help me to discern what I should control and what I should surrender to you. No matter how big the problem may be, or how big I may imagine it, God, you are always greater. Amen.
A Prayer for Peace from Despair
“I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, Lord, make me live in safety.” (Psalm 4:8)
Heavenly Father, There is so much suffering in the world, events that I hear about on the news, others that I don't. Some events I witness in my own life. There is so much variety in sin, and thus so many different forms of suffering. My mind can’t fathom it all, but Lord you are aware. I ask that you would bless those across the world, especially your children, that you would bless them with peace amidst their suffering. Those experiencing natural disasters, help them find peace. Those suffering from loss, help them find peace. Those struggling with sickness, God, please help them find peace.
No matter what our circumstances look like, no matter our relationships, we can be sure that you remain the same. And just as you are steadfast, so is your peace. May we feel and experience your comfort today and for all days to come. Of course, we will wander and stray, but I pray for a mindset for us all that recognizes when we veer off-course. Help us see when we need to come back to you like the prodigal son. You are the reason for hope. You are the reason for peace. Amen.
A Prayer for Peace from Fear
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
Lord, Fear is such a strong and prominent ingredient to everyday living, in my life and those around me. Anxiety is on the rise in people of varying ages. We all fear different things, but we fear nonetheless. God, if fear is so prevalent in our lives, that means our faith is not what it should be. We are dwelling on fear instead of dwelling on truth like the Bible commands us to do.
Why worry, God? That’s what we often ask ourselves when we realize that most situations work out. Our anxiety turns out to be wrong 99% of the time, but we still consider the possibility of worst-case scenarios. Please give us a change in focus, a change in our mindset. Instead of what could go wrong, God, help us see what can go right. Yes, our anxieties look scary. Sometimes our futures look bleak, but who’s in charge of the future? You are God, not us. Can you help us to understand this truth? Can you help us to meditate on this truth?
The next time fear begins to overwhelm our minds, I ask that you would speak peace into us, reminding us of who you are, what you can do, and what you have done. I pray also that you would help my community, that you would remind us that you are bigger than anything our worrisome minds can ever conceive. Thank you, God, for all things. Amen.
A Prayer for Peace from Addiction
“Now the mindset of the flesh is death, but the mindset of the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6)
Heavenly Father, Addiction leads nowhere good. Never have and never will, but that doesn’t stop us from returning time and time again. Somehow we forget the suffering addiction causes. Somehow we forget about the time wasted, lives hurt, and the disconnect from you we perpetuate. Whatever is driving the addiction, whatever makes us crave, Lord, help us to know that there is no need that you cannot provide. Give us the reassurance that we don’t have to solve all of our problems. Addiction is not even a solution, but part of the problem. So instead, help us to choose you over self, virtue over sin. Help us to choose a godly habit over where our flesh wants to take us.
Thank you, God, for your patience with us. Thank you for the peace you grant when we choose you. Keep reminding us, keep guiding us, until one day we can say with absolute certainty, we choose only you!
In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
A Prayer for Peace from Conflict
“If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18)
God, So often do I desire peace, but more often than I like, I find myself in conflict. Lord, sometimes the conflict is a result of my doing. Sometimes trouble just finds me. In these moments, my first instinct is not to hold on to you, not to trust, not to communicate well. Instead, my habit is to fear, to seek control, to seek to be right. When I go my own way, the peace that escapes me doesn’t come back. I’m left with angst and emotional turmoil. Lord, I want to choose differently. When I am faced with conflict I want to choose you. I don’t have to be right. I don’t have to get the last word. And if I want to call myself your child, then I need to choose your way over my own.
I ask that you would help me reconcile with those I am at odds with now. Please give me the words and emotions to communicate well. For my relationships that are in good standing, I want to say thank you for the peace established. May that peace continue to be. Amen.
God’s peace is available to us each and every day. We know this because God’s peace is not determined by our circumstances, but by His character. And yet, why do we lose peace in the first place? Focusing too much on our circumstances. If we can change our perspective, we will see God differently and therefore see our circumstances differently. If our problems are bigger than our faith, we lose peace. If our faith is bigger than our problems, we find faith. Which will you choose today? Know that living peacefully is a choice. Making the choice may not be easy, but we can take hope that today is the only day we need to focus on. We simply need to pray, then believe. And peace will be ours to maintain.
Photo credit: iStock/Getty Images Plus/yokeetod
Aaron D'Anthony Brown is a freelance writer, hip-hop dance teacher, and visual artist, living in Virginia. He currently contributes work to iBelieve, Crosswalk, and supports various clients through the platform Upwork. He's an outside-the-box thinker with a penchant for challenging the status quo. Check out his short story “Serenity.”
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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