Oh Lord, sometimes my insides feel like a battle zone, where missiles are falling too close to home. Other times I'm caught in an endless storm, with thoughts flying out of control. Confusion reigns, and defeat creeps in to steal my joy. I need your peace—the deep-down-in-your-heart kind that stays with me day and night and speaks confidently into the wind. Calm my anxious spirit, Lord; all the attacking "if-onlys" and "what-ifs" fill me with needless worry.
The world can be cruel and unfair at times. We see good things happen to good people. God doesn’t cause them, but he is capable of blessing us with his peace. Practice the presence of God and pray. You can find peace by praying and meditating on what is holy. The act of praying allows you to think on purity, excellence and truth; this fills your heart with good.
The child you embrace has a name that is dear to the peoples of biblical religion: "Jesus," which means "God saves." So the Archangel named him before he was conceived in your womb (cf. Lk 2,21). In the face of the newborn Messiah, we recognize the face of all your children, who suffer from being despised and exploited. We recognize especially the faces of your children, to whatever race, nation or culture they may belong.
Lord God, I wasn’t expecting this, but I believe that You are still in control, and You are close to me even in this moment (Psalm 46:1). Thank You that before any of this even happened, You already knew it all, and You will provide a way through this (Psalm 23:4). Let Your peace, which surpasses all understanding, guard me from dwelling on disastrous possibilities, and plant my feet firmly on what is true (Phil 4:6-8). Help me to trust You even in this hard place, and give me your perfect peace as I fix my mind on You (Isaiah 26:3). No matter what ends up happening, I believe You will use it for good (Jeremiah 29:11), to make much of Jesus and to make me more like Jesus (Romans 8:28-29). I trust You. I love You. Amen.
Christella – a loss of a loved one brings a great deal of impossible pain. I know that our answer for hope and healing is found in Jesus. I can’t say anything that will make things better, but I can offer you a suggestion to get a book called, “Through the Eyes of a Lion: Facing Impossible Pain, Finding Incredible Power” by Levi Lusko. He is a pastor in Montana and he lost his young daughter days before Christmas. It’s a great testimony and inspiration to people who are grieving and feeling hopeless. I hope you get it, read it, and share it. I am praying that you will find peace, rest, and hope in the midst of your terrible pain.
I know what it’s like waking up at 3 a.m. and not being able to get back to sleep while my mind races to things I need to do and issues that need to be resolved. Nothing helps me calm my thoughts more than talking to God in prayer. I can’t explain it, but I know that prayer works. Praying for peace of mind is one of the most powerful tools we have access to as people of faith.
Is your heart troubled? Are you feeling like the psalmist, who asked his own soul, "Why are you in despair? And why have you become disturbed within me?" One of the hardest parts of knowing peace is understanding how it has nothing to do with control. If you're having trouble with trust or finding the words to pray above the howling of the scary storms, feel free to offer up these words to the Lord now!