"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 (NIV).
Peace has been in some instances described as the "absence of conflict"! However, others have described peace, as, "tranquility in the midst of storms"! For example, when the first Christian martyr, Stephen, was being dragged to his death after his defence of the Gospel of Christ, "While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his kneesand cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep" (Acts 7: 59-60).
It is quite clear here that in spite of the storm raging around him, Stephen was at peace. A famous poem by Rudyard Kipling, goes: "If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you..Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it..!" In other words, to be at peace is not the absence of storms, but the ability to rise above their very nature.
As he was being dragged to his crucifixion, we know the Lord was at peace. For prior, once when the disciples where in a boat with Jesus that was being rocked by storms, upon rushing to him in great fear, after he had "rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mathew 4: 39-40).
Today, you could too could be experiencing storms of a sudden nature. Maybe all around you there is confusion and uncertainty. There might be a situation that is not clear and vague in spite of all your efforts. You could be in the middle of a concophony of voices pulling you in every direction. Maybe in your hands lays a medical report with grim news. But be at peace. For you have faith in the Lord Jesus who will calm all the storms around you!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today, in spite of all the storms around me, I am at peace because of the faith I have in you, this I pray in Jesus's name.
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“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”- (Philippians 4:6).
Perhaps you have heard of a certain old magical trade known as mind reading. According to this trade which has been around for millenniums and has its share of tricksters, mind readers are able to discern thought patterns of individuals before they even utter a word. There are places in the world where this, as expected, is a lucrative occupation, with practitioners, often crafty magicians, demanding hefty fees, just to tell thoughts of others.
As Christians, of course, we have an all knowing God, who has said, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” ( Mathew 6:8). Further, our Lord has pointed out, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” ( Mathew 6:7). As Christians when we come to God, we do so with full confidence, that He already knows our needs and will meet them according to his glorious riches in heaven.
Of particular interest for us here is that while God perfectly knows our needs before we even dare utter a single word, still it is incumbent upon us to make our requests known to Him. A parent may have long noticed a child has a need for a new pair of shoes; but it is another dimension, when the child does come out and share aloud that his pair is worn out, hurting and is quite in need of a new one. The parent takes notice, especially when the matter is presented with such conviction and urgency. This is why Hannah cried out to God for a child ( 1 Samuel 1:9-18).
In our relationship with God, as the Apostle Paul advises us, it is not just enough to assume and let matters be, that after all God knows all our needs, but we too bear a responsibility to make our requests known to Him. Once we are done with that, we let God do His part, allowing “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” ( Philippians 4:7) to flood us.
So, today, do not hold back your needs from the Almighty God. He has paved the way to walk to Him through His son Jesus Christ, to present your case, bear out your heart’s desire, and let Him do His part!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise to make my requests known to you, knowing you have heard me even before I utter a single word, assured that you will meet each and every one of my needs, according to your glorious riches in heaven!