Now, before you picket my house and boycot my blog, hear me out on this one.
Actually, let’s go to the Bible on this one. That’s where this idea comes from in the first place. Why don’t we start with Galatians 5?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 NASB
Then take a look at Philippians:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, 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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-6 NASB
1 Peter is always good, as well:
The one who desires life, to love and see good days, must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. He must turn away from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. 1 Peter 3:10-11 NASB
Are you beginning to see a pattern here at all?
What exactly is true peace?
Peace is not something that just washes down over us in answer to our prayers. Peace is something that we must allow to shine.
It is part of the fruit of the Spirit who dwells within us. If peace does not radiate through our being, perhaps we should stop and ask ourselves what in our lives is blocking the Spirit.
It is the result of surrendering our anxiety to the Lord through prayer. We think it is useful to worry, but Scripture calls worry a sin. Sin hinders the Spirit’s work in our lives. Is there no peace coming when we pray? Then perhaps we are clinging to sin.
It is something that we must actively seek. The Spirit does not shine through our lives as a result of passivity. We must actively walk away from the things of this world and actively seek the things of God.
So, is it wrong to pray for peace?
Perhaps it is not wrong in and of itself. But, let’s think about something for a minute. If our prayers are focused on peace, then what are we bypassing?
- We pray for peace, but we do not see where we need to surrender to the work of the Spirit.
- We pray for peace, but we do not consider the angst and anxiety that we are adding to a situation.
- We pray for peace, but we do not pursue righteousness and the will of the Lord above all things.
In all honesty, we want peace without the sacrifice.
What must I do?
As I type this, I am struggling with agitation. My mind whirls with all that is on my plate. My heart struggles over unanswered prayer and needs that seem to be perpetually unmet. The snippiness of my children is getting on my last nerve.
I need peace right now.
But, I also see what is blocking that peace. My mind is not focused on Christ. My mouth is not full of rejoicing. And my heart is not chasing after that which is good.
As I intentionally refocus, seek forgiveness, and settle down, the peace begins to come. Just a little trickle at first, but the trickle grows to a flow until peace finally washes over me. The Spirit is in control once again, and I am submissive to Him. I cannot help but have peace.
Do you need peace today? I encourage you to stop praying for it and start taking actions that will ensure it.