A Prayer for the Peace of Christ
By Andrea Herzer
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ - John 20:19
After Jesus’ death, his disciples were taking shelter together in a locked home. Fearing for their lives, they were hiding from those who had just helped to execute Jesus. I cannot imagine the distress they faced. Have you been living in fear lately? I have deep compassion for you, friend. You are the reason I am writing today.
Have you ever noticed that fear often travels hand-in-hand with other emotions? Jesus’ followers were afraid, but they were also grieving the violent death of their friend and Savior. Their dreams had been shattered. They had left everything to follow Jesus, but now their work as his disciples seemed to be at an end. And to top it off, they were afraid that if they ventured outdoors, they could face the same death Jesus suffered. Are you, like the disciples, grieving the death of a loved one? Have you also lost your job or the dreams you had for your future? Read on to learn what Jesus gave his frightened and worried followers. If you are his follower, he gives the same thing to you today.
In Jesus’ first appearance to the disciples after his resurrection, a door that fear had locked could not keep him out. Jesus came and stood among them. He had compassion for their suffering, as evidenced by his first words, “Peace be with you!” After he showed them his hands and side, he said it again, “Peace be with you!” (John 20:20-21) Peace. The word, in Greek, is eiréné and it implies complete wholeness, tranquility, and rest. Jesus gave them exactly what they needed. Their difficult circumstances had not changed, but Jesus in their midst meant that everything had changed. His presence and peace unlocked their courage and restored their faith. If you need courage and faith right now, then invite Jesus into your midst and accept the peace he gives to all who believe in him.
Let us pray this together:
Dear Jesus, I need your peace. I believe that you died for my sins, and that God raised you from the dead so that by believing in you I can have peace with God and life in your Name. Forgive me for allowing the cares of this world to obscure my spiritual vision.
I confess that I have not been trusting your plan for my life and the lives of my loved ones. You have given me peace that brings restoration, wholeness, and rest to my soul. I have allowed the trials of this life to lock me into a spirit of fear, robbing me of the peace that is mine in Christ.
Forgive me, Lord. Right now, I confess my fears and my worries to you. I declare that you did not give me a spirit of fear or cowardice! You gave me a spirit of power, and of love, and of soundness of mind and judgment. (2 Timothy 1:7)
I know that rejoicing and delighting in you is a safeguard for my spirit. (Philippians 3:1) Please help me to practice the discipline of thanksgiving every day, so that I will be filled with your peace. (Now, give God thanks, allowing thanksgiving to give way to rejoicing and praise.) Thank you, Lord, that I can come to you with prayers and thanksgiving; in return you give me peace that is supreme over my worries.
I ask for that peace to fill me now, let it watch over and protect my heart. (Philippians 4:6-7) Let your peace have authority in my heart, because that is your calling for me. (Colossians 3:15) Give me the courage I need to tell others about you, so that they may also have peace with God and peace from God.
In Jesus’ Precious Name. Amen.
Having spent the past two decades enduring life with multiple illnesses, including Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Andrea Herzer is intimately acquainted with the hardships that accompany debilitating health issues. She writes devotionals on her Facebook Group (Abundant Life for Abundant Illness) to help others find the pathway to living a life that overflows with the riches of God’s sustaining love even in the midst of pain and suffering. Andrea is currently completing her first devotional book, The Way Through Illness.
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