We are approaching Easter and Holy Week in the midst of a world that is hard to recognize, compared to just a month ago. Our hearts might have become distracted from the purpose of the Lenten season, and the peace we should be feeling has been replaced, for many of us, with an ongoing sense of anxiety.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Christ is our greatest peace during hard days.
The message of the cross and Easter is that Christ has overcome the world. He has overcome death. He has brought peace through salvation. This peace can stand up to any trial and pain that may come our way. It is lasting, secure, and can never be removed from a believer.
The Gospel says, fear not, for Christ has overcome all we have to fear. He has opened the door wide for us to trust Him fully and cast off the anxiety that seeks to steal our peace.
I want more for us this Holy Week. I long for us to fix our eyes and the eyes of our family on His perfect and holy peace. Each of these five prayers—one for each day of the week leading up to Easter—is intentional to set our hearts and minds on our source of true peace.
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Day One: Pray for Peace and Trust
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)
We come to you with open hands and humble hearts. This life around us feels like too much for us most days. There are scary things on the news and uncertainty around every corner. God, we know that you are in full control of all things and that you bring peace to those who trust in you wholeheartedly.
This week as we set our eyes to the cross and the resurrection, let it be the reminder that our peace is from you alone. Even in the darkness and frailty of this life, in you we find perfect peace. Help us to keep our minds set on this truth daily.
Day Two: Pray for Freedom from Fear
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
Our hearts are at times filled with such fear. Fear of sickness, fear of unknowns, fear of what is happening in our world. You are our safety, our hope, and our peace. You carried our every fear upon your back up to calvary, and you placed them with you on the cross.
We come with thankful hearts Lord that you chose to go to a cross to die for our sins. Take our anxieties and great fears away from us and replace it with your perfect peace. Again this week, as we approach the celebration of your resurrection, keeps our minds set on you.
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Day Three: Pray for Perfect Peace
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
You came to give peace. Not as the world gives it but a peace that means we can face whatever comes. Peace even when everything feels silent. Peace when our minds feel anything but steady. We do not have to fear tomorrow, or what we will eat or drink because you care for even our most basic needs.
Wrap us in this peace.
May we know it more this Easter than we ever have. Help us to experience it in a new way. Open our eyes that we may see more fully the beauty of your peace. Peace through the cross, and peace through your resurrection.
Day Four: Give Thanks for God's Grace and Mercy
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)
This day you gathered with your disciples and took bread and broke it for your body that would be broken for them. You took the cup and drank from it for the blood that you would shed. You chose the cross for us. You chose to lay down your life that we may live. Let this truth rule our hearts and minds right now and in the days to come.
We are thankful Lord for your Gospel story of redemption that you have written. Write it on our hearts. Pour out your gracious peace over us.
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Day Five: Give Thanks for the Gift of the Cross
“for to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6)
How dark this day was in history, and yet so beautiful. Only you could craft a perfect sacrifice. Only you God could write a love story that would satisfy your justice and allow mercy to pour out on to our unrighteous hearts. This gospel that made a way when hope seemed lost. When our penalty was death, you took our place and offered your Spirit as life and peace for each one of us. May the weight of that truth fall heavy on our hearts today as we think about the cross.
No matter what is happening in the world around us, there is nothing that can compare to the incredible day you took our sin upon your shoulders. You died that we may be free, you took our punishment that we may have peace.
Oh, Father, we glory in your name that even in the darkness, you broke the chains of death and stepped out into the glorious light. Continue to pour out your gracious mercy and peace upon us. We thank you for the cross and the gift of salvation and the offering of peace it brings.
This article is part of our larger Prayer resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.
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Originally published Wednesday, 31 March 2021.