Finding Peace in a World of Struggle: Prayer for the Troubled Heart
Debbie McDanielCrosswalk.com blogspot for Debbie McDaniel of Fresh Day Ahead
- 2016 Jul 15
This world can be a dark place many days. News reports of shootings, innocent lives being lost too soon, terrorist attacks, unrest, and struggle are constant reminders that we live in uncertain times. Past hurts cling tightly, our present reality filled with pressures, the future may seem to loom with fear.
Many times we wonder, is finding peace in the midst of all this even possible?
One quote reminds us, “Peace. It doesn't mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
Another says, "No God, no peace. Know God, know peace."
And both are true.
Without knowing the perfect peace and calm assurance of God Himself in this crazy, mixed up world, we will live forever struggling to gain control, always finding ourselves in the inner battle with stress and anxiety. Yet focusing on God’s words can bring life to our souls, no matter what swirls around us on any given day. He is able to bring security, so we're not overcome with fear, or find ourselves sinking down into a pit of worry.
He's the Answer to our place of refuge. We can never fully escape all the mess this world may bring our way. We live in a fallen place. But in the midst of what life deals us, we can remain steadfast, strong.
Often, living a peace-filled life comes down to a choice. Choosing to come to Him, choosing to set our minds on His Word, choosing to trust Him no matter what, choosing to pray in all that we face, choosing not to be anxious, choosing to believe that He's always with us and in control, choosing to set our thoughts on those things that are true and right.
God reminds us in His word that peace will not naturally just come our way, He tells to “seek peace and pursue it,” Ps. 34:14. Some may offer their own advice, “Get away for a few days, relax, be happy, take a vacation, tune out, just don't think about stressful stuff.” But it's only temporary relief in a crazy, struggling world. Vain attempts to cover desperate places of our souls with superficial, external fixes.
But the peace God offers is vastly different. It's lasting. Confident. Real. Breathing deep reassurance in the midst of all that we face – past, present, or future. Rising up against the fear that would seek to choke our lives. Bringing comfort and freedom.
God's words give strength, purpose, grace. They alone are what can bring inner calm to a whirlwind of crazy.
13 Verses of Peace to Guard Your Hearts and Minds in Him:
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“The Lord gives strength to his people, the Lord blesses his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.”1 Peter 5:7
“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:33
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16
“…the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things…and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
“For He Himself is our peace…” Ephesians 2:14
“The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26
No matter what we go through in this life, or what we're up against today, we don't have to be shaken.
We're safe with Him.
He sent His only Son, pure essence of Peace Himself, to give us lasting freedom and peace that only He can give.
Our world is hurting and broken. We pray for those who have lost loved ones this week, please comfort them in their grief and loss, cover them with your peace and presence, as only your Spirit can do.
We know that in whatever we face, you are our Peace and Refuge, a very present help in times of trouble. Thank you that you remind us throughout your Word, we do not face the storms alone, but you are always with us. Whispering calm. Speaking peace. Bringing rest to our souls.
We confess our need for you. We ask you to forgive us for trying to figure everything out on our own, for not trusting that you are more than able and powerful to work on our behalf. Forgive us for picking back up what we already determined to lay down at your feet. Give us the ability to trust you more, give us a heart that finds rest in your presence, give us the wisdom to seek peace and pursue it, remembering it’s only to be found in you alone.
Thank you that your yoke is easy and your burden is light. Thank you that you care for us. Thank you that the peace of your loving and strong presence guards and protects our hearts and minds in you. Thank you that we do not have to walk in fear or live in overwhelmed cycles of worry and stress.
Thank you for your voice that breaks through the greatest wind and storm swirling around us, and whispers “Peace, be still.”
Thank you that you sent your One and Only Son to set us free.
In the Mighty Name of Jesus,
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives. Find her also at http://twitter.com/debbmcdaniel and http://www.debbiemcdaniel.com.
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.