Peace

Father, you are Lord and Creator. You are holy and sovereign. We pray to you because you alone hear. You alone can intervene in our circumstances. You alone are able to bring about salvation, peace, and healing.

if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

As your people, we humble ourselves, pray, seek your face, and repent. When we look around our nation and world, we are heartbroken at the fallen condition of mankind. We see wickedness, despair, immorality, violence, and hate. We long for awakening. We long for sinners to come to know you. But we realize that revival must begin with us. Reveal to us our sins that we may confess them. Grant us repentance that we may turn to you.

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
    blot out my transgressions.
 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin!

Psalm 51:1-2

Have mercy on us your people. When we look in our sinful hearts, we find idols: things to which we give attention and adoration besides you (1 John 5:21). Use these days to reveal our idols that we may turn from them and to you with our whole hearts. We deserve judgment for our sin, but we plead your mercy.


You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you.

Isaiah 26:3

Father, we are weak. As your people, we should walk by faith, not sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). But we find ourselves nervous, anxious, afraid. Forgive us for being overwhelmed by our circumstances and controlled by our fears. Teach us to keep our minds on you, to trust in you, and experience your peace.

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

Teach us to bring our anxieties to you in prayer with thanksgiving. Father, you want to hear us as your children. You want us to have your peace and presence. May we learn to pray in thankfulness and experience your peace.

They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

John 17:16-19

Thank you Father that you have changed us. Thank you that we have your Spirit living within us and our hope and future is eternal. Nevertheless, we find ourselves living in a world fractured by what is false and divided by disinformation. Sanctify us in your truth. You have sent us into this world to influence and impact. To fulfill your purposes, we need what is timeless: your truth and your Word. May we focus this day on your Word and your will.

praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Ephesians 6:18-20

Father, may we walk daily in a demeanor of prayer. May we persevere, praying when we feel like it and when we don’t. May we intercede for others. May we have boldness to declare the truth of the gospel that will redeem lost souls. The only hope for your people is revival and renewal in your Word and by your Spirit. The only hope for our nation and world is the gospel of your Son. Revive us your people that we may boldly proclaim Jesus to a lost world. In your glory and grace, grant revival to your people and awakening to our land.

Amen.

PhPhoto by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

The last few days have been unsettling. Recently, I had a conversation with a church member who expressed concern that the US drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani might become a full on military engagement. Iran’s retaliation against US bases in Baghdad certainly do not alleviate those concerns. It is not wrong to be concerned about the potential of another Middle East conflict.

Without question, we should pray. We should for our political leaders who need divine wisdom. We should also pray for the people in the crossfire. There are Iraqi and Iranian nationals who will be caught in the middle of a conflict they do not want. We should pray for the peoples of the region, Israel and other countries, who are regularly face terror threats and acts of violence that have been the precipitating reasons for the current situation. We should pray for our soldiers who are in the Middle East now and those who might be heading there. We should pray for believers in the region who may face even more persecution in a destabilizing situation.

You might be thinking, is that all we can do? Pray.

The reason we can pray is because international conflicts and world affairs do not fall outside the sovereignty of the living God.

During 2019, our Wednesday night Bible study focused on the book of Daniel. The book is full of turmoil, difficulty, and political intrigue. As an exile, Daniel lived under a pagan kingdom. Yet he remained faithful to God. The hero of the book of Daniel is God, who gave Daniel the grace to remain faithful, the ability to interpret dreams, the faith to pray, the willingness to speak truth to the most powerful men in the world

Daniel’s prophetic visions describe turmoil in Jerusalem, terrible tidings for the Jewish people under evil kings, uncertainties and quandaries (Dan. 7-12). But his visions also say something else. They tell us that God is in control.

That God described in predictive detail what would and did happen in the years following Daniel’s life is illuminating. That God foretold his rule and reign through the coming Ancient of Days is encouraging. That God declared to Daniel “And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days” (Dan. 12:13), is comforting.

The lesson in the book of Daniel–do not be afraid, God is in control. This is a fitting and timely reminder given the circumstances facing our world today.