Sunday, May 4, 2008

peace and rest

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace....
Galatians 5:22, CSB


Father, I come to you in faith that you are the great and powerful God who created and sustains everything, and that you are the personal and loving God who has called me as an heir with Christ of your eternal fortune and reward. Because of your power and majesty, I can come with assurance that you are able to meet my every need. And because you are the personal God who called me as a son, I can come with assurance that you will hear me and bless me; I can come with the full assurance that you will make your face shine on me and give me peace.

Father, I thank you and praise you for sending Jesus to bring me peace through his death on the cross. For Jesus is my peace; he brings all your chosen people together and made us one in you (Eph 2:14). It was through his blood, shed on the cross, that everything has been reconciled to you (Col 1:20)—that I have been reconciled to you and made clean, washed of the filth that, in your eyes, covered me (Zech 3; Is 64:4). Now, it is through the justification that I have received by Jesus that I have been brought to peace with you (Ro 5:1). I am no longer your enemy, but can rest in your care. I was your enemy, but I am saved by Christ (Ro 5:10)! Now, through your Servant Jesus, you shepherd me and bring me peace (Ps 24). I can find harbor in your strength (Ps 36:7).

Father, help me set aside my old ways of selfish ambition, petty rivalry, jealousy, and whatever else put me at war with you and my neighbors. Let me love you will all my heart, all my strength, all my soul and all my mind so that nothing disturbs the peace I have in you. Show me how to be someone who brings peace to others (Mt 5:9). Give me the strength, wisdom and love to live at peace with everyone, as much as possible by your will (Ro 12:18). Give me peace through trials and challenges because I know that through Jesus I can overcome (Jn 16:33, Ro 8:37). And let me live at peace with others so that I might encourage them and show them your love, grace and mercy (Ro 14:19).

Father, keep me from the complacency and foolishness that leads people to find their security into the temporary things of the world (1 Thess 5:3). Let me always remember that you are in absolute control and nothing can thwart your plans (Job 42:2). May I always remember that my life is not guaranteed for another second, but I need to live every second you give me with an eternal focus on your glory and sovereignty (James 4:13-14). For, it is through my trust in your strength that I can have the peace that comes with assurance of my hope.

I pray that you would bring your peace to all your people throughout the world. Let us rise up as a church to sing your praises in a fallen world and to bring your good news of peace to all your chosen people. Let us glorify you and find our peace in your eternal rest.

Because there remains a Sabbath-rest for the people of God, let us make every effort to enter that rest. Let us hold firmly to the faith we profess in Jesus, our high priest (Heb 4).


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