Thought for the Week: The Peace of God

It was Monday, the 14th Monday of Lockdown. Monday is often not good for me and I have at times been very reluctant to get out of my bed! However, I prayed to God for inspiration for the THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK and at first, felt lead to the United Reformed Prayer Book of 2010 and when I opened it I nearly laughed out loud as I read the heading which said, ‘LOOSE OUR CHAINS AND SETTLE US IN PEACE’.
Suddenly I saw a light in the tunnel, my Monday grumpiness went, for God had answered prayer immediately because. the words in my mind which I had had as I woke up were almost the same: ‘LOOSE THE LOCKDOWN AND GIVE US OUR FREEDOM AND PEACE’.
This followed the reading in Galatians 3 v.23 where we are reminded that before we had faith in Jesus Christ we were imprisoned by our past mistakes and by the wrong things like sins that we had done even though we knew they were wrong. We also might be craving the wrong things today and all of it would have been forgiven due to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The other part of our wish to be free is peace.
You may have heard the verse from Philippians 4 v. 7 many times but it is a special gift from God and is as follows:
“AND THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH TRANSCENDS ALL UNDERSTANDING WILL GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS”. God’s peace is different from the peace we talk about so often, especially when It is used at times of war or some other kind of conflict.
There are many commentaries regarding people’s understanding of God’s peace. One wrote, “God’s peace is the smile of God reflected in the soul of the believer”. Another wrote, “It is a very special gift from God, founded on Grace and the love of Christ which is explained in Ephesians 3 v,18 where Paul wrote, ‘I pray that you, being rooted and established in love may have power, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ’”. What more can we ask for?
Going back to freedom, if you can find one of my favourite hymns which begins with, “And can it be” and read verse 4 you will find an explanation on how in believing in Jesus lives are changed.
As we come to Prayers for the week, I copy that verse:
Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light.
My chains fell off, my heart was free
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

PRAYERS FOR THE WEEK

Jesus teaches us to pray. Give us our daily bread;
As we give thanks for our food, our homes, our security,
We remember that many are hungry, or homeless, or in danger.
Help us not to be complacent with what we have,
But to look for ways to make a fairer world.
Jesus teaches us to pray, and keep on praying,
To ask and search and knock.
O God, who always hears our prayers
Accept these and all our prayers in the name of
the one who taught us to pray. Amen ( Prayer taken from “Teach us to pray” by Sue McCoan )
Father God, We have been through a time of trial caused by COVID-19. Paul wrote, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him”.
Heavenly Father as we pray in the name of your Son, we might see good coming from what has been a very difficult time throughout the world. We ask now that the terrible times many have suffered by losing their loved ones will end and they will find peace. As we search for a better future, we pray that those who are still suffering from the virus will be healed and able to enjoy their lives again.
Lord Jesus Christ as we reach out to you we would pray that as we get used to our changed lives we might be given your special peace which we have been thinking about and may we be used to help those who, as yet, have not taken you into their lives that they will be blessed by finding you as their saviour. Amen

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