Crying out for Peace in Christ
War cry for peace
In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8), ESV)
People want peace. How often has someone told you they want peace in their lives or want peace and quiet? How often do people want peace of mind? Strong1 records 430 forms of the word “peace” in the Bible. It is used as a noun, a verb, an adjective, and an adverb. It can be verbal. For instance, people can speak peace. People are also directed to “hold their peace". It can be physical. People can be peaceable. People can “come in peace”. There are peace offerings. It can be a personal characteristic as in the “peacemakers”.
The “peace” verses in the Old Testament can be roughly divided by definition into two types. The first is “shelem” or the peace offering. Strong1 indicates, “Shelem conveys the idea of completeness or perfection, and also of compensation, as well as that of peace.” During feasts, it conveyed a sense of thankfulness toward God, and a returning to him what was due to him.
The second is “shalom”, with which most of you will already be familiar. It is a common Hebrew word used to convey the concept of welfare, tranquility, ease, health, prosperity, and psychological or emotional peace. In the opening verse of this chapter, peace is the Hebrew word “beshalom” which means to literally “be in peace” or harmony. The new covenant is also described as one of peace (harmony between two or more parties). “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee” (Psalm 122:6). That is not an option, it is a directive. Peace is important to God.
Numerous New Testament books and chapters open with a greeting of peace (Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, Philippians 1:2, Colossians 1:2, 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:2, 1 Timothy 1:2, 2 Timothy 1: 2, Titus 1:4, Philemon 3, 1 Peter 1:2, 2 Peter 1:2, 2 John 3, Jude 2, and Revelation 1:4) .
Since peace is a gift from God as well as a human characteristic, it is important to seek peace with others. That means some responsibility lies with us as individuals. Ultimately, though, peace comes from God the ultimate peacemaker. He made peace with our rebellion and sin through his son Jesus Christ. We can only make peace with others through his example. Our inclination is to act selfishly, argue, fight, dominate, control, and war with others when we should be warring with the spiritual enemy instead.
Once we have accepted the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23), we should feel a great sense of inner peace. That peace may dwindle as we live in the fallen world where we are hurt by others, or we sin. Just as salvation is persistent, so can our feeling of peace be persistent. It is meant to be pervasive in all circumstances, though. God doesn’t remove his peace from us for any reason. There is no scripture to back up that mindset. We can have it at all times.
Prayer for peace
Father remind me to pray for the peace of Jerusalem daily so that I may also be at rest with her (Psalm 122:6). “Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy! (Psalm 137:6). Let peace always be within her walls (Psalm 122:7). “Peace be upon Israel!” (Psalm 125: 5, 128:6). Make Israel a wide, bountiful, rich, quiet, peaceful place, Father (1 Chronicles 4:40). I bless Israel with peace within her borders at all times (Psalm 122:8). May each person in Israel say “I am one of those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel” (2 Samuel 20:19). “Behold, a king will reign in righteousness and peace, and princes will rule in justice. Each will be like a hiding place from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land. (Isaiah 32:1-2). Sha-alu shalom yirushalayim (Protector and Redeemer of the city of Jerusalem, bring peace).
Father accept my peace offering. I come to you in humility. Assist me through your Holy Spirit to be a peacemaker and to be blessed when I bless others with peace (Matthew 5:9; Hebrews 13:20). Help me to speak peaceably to others (Jeremiah 9:8). When I cannot be peaceable, help me to hold my tongue (Genesis 37:4). I hold my tongue in patience while I wait for your answers as well (Genesis 24:21). I know that you will not disappoint me, but that you will answer me.
I decree that I am at peace with others regardless of the circumstances (Romans 12:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:13; Hebrew 12:14). Assist me in fleeing passionate endeavors and to pursue righteousness, faith, patience, peace, and love (2 Timothy 2:22). I declare that I turn away from evil, do good, seek peace, and pursue it (1 Peter 3:11). I sow a harvest of righteousness by being a peacemaker (James 3:18). I can do this with your loving help and not in my own strength.
Jesus is my king of peace (Hebrews 7:2). Grace and peace are multiplied to me through the increased knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:2). I have peace from Jesus (John 14:24, 16:33; Acts 10:36). I have peace with God through the blood of Christ (Romans 5:1). I have righteousness, peace, and joy in the kingdom of God (Romans 17:14). “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace” (Ephesians 2:14-15).
“O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God!” (Psalm 83:1). Speak peace to me; let me hear you in my cry (Psalm 85:8). You make me lie down in green pastures, and cause me to rest in stillness (Psalm 23:2). When my heart and mind are stirred up, bring peace to calm the storm inside of me. Your peace is more precious than much gold or silver, and I long for your presence. Nothing else satisfies me. “You are not a God of confusion, but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears…” (Psalm 39:12). “He redeems my soul in peace from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me” (Psalm 55:18). Your peace, Jehovah Shalom, will soon crush Satan under my feet (Romans 16:20).
Because I love your law, I have great peace, and nothing can make me stumble. (Psalm 119:165). “May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!” (Psalm 29:11). “Let the peace of Christ rule in my heart…” (Colossians 3:15). May the Lord of peace himself give me peace at all times in every way (2 Thessalonians 3:16). I have eternal security because you are able to keep me from stumbling and to present me blameless before God in the presence of his glory” (Jude 24). Thank you, Jehovah Shalom, for wholeness and completeness. “…to the Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forevermore” (Jude 25). In Jesus name I pray, Amen.