Peace in Troubled Times– Musings and Prayer

Is it possible to be at peace when there is so much trouble all around? Jesus tells us that he gives a kind of peace that can keep us steady even in the midst of trying circumstances and trouble in the world.

“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

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Monday: Let’s read these words of Jesus’ over and over, meditating on his statement that we will have trouble in this world, but that, even so, he gives peace. Let’s pray for his peace for ourselves and for our nation and world throughout this week.

Tuesday: How or what does the world give? How is that different from what Jesus offers?

Wednesday: Ask Jesus to help you receive his peace, even when there is trouble all around. He tells us that he gives so that our hearts won’t be troubled and so we won’t be afraid. I appreciate the realistic words that there will be trouble. That tells me I don’t have to work myself up to some kind of denial of reality to have faith or peace. There is trouble of all sorts, but Jesus offers us a kind of peace that can exist and calm us in the midst of trouble.

Thursday: Meditate on Jesus’ words, allowing them to fill your heart and mind. Sometimes it helps me to write out and memorize some verses that help me receive his peace. Some verses I find helpful are Psalm 23; Psalm 27:1-4; Psalm 46: 1; Isaiah 43: 1-2; and Philippians 4:7.

Friday: Jesus tells us we can expect to have trouble and difficult times and yet somehow still have peace. Talk to him about your troubles and fears, asking him how you can have peace even in the midst of them. I sometimes go for a walk and pour out my heart or even rant to him about what’s troubling me.

Saturday: Let’s pray together that Jesus’ peace and love will overcome the strife and conflict that is raging in our country and around the world. How can each of us share that love and peace in our circles, whether local or far-flung?

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Comfort in Grief and Trials Prayer Guide

Always in your heart
Always in your heart…

Many people I know are grieving the loss of a beautiful, vibrant, beloved young woman. I am sure there are also many others who are grieving for losses in their own lives, so I am drawing thoughts for prayer and meditation this week from a couple of passages that speak of Jesus’ compassion and God’s comfort when we face loss or trials. In addition to these passages, there are many psalms where grief and lamentation are clearly expressed in prayer. Feel free to comment if you would like to know other passages that I have found comforting when going through hard times.

“When Jesus saw her weeping… he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. …Jesus wept.” John 11:33,35

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

God is a God of mercy and comfort. Jesus weeps with his people when they grieve, and he cares about each of us and longs to comfort us in our sadness and afflictions. Let’s sit with the words of these passages this week and allow them to work peace in our souls.

Monday: Bring your heartaches and tears to Jesus, knowing that he feels your sadness and welcomes you with open arms. He weeps with you and joins you in your grief.

Tuesday: What are some things that remind you of God’s love for you? Try to think of some ways you can remind yourself when you’re feeling down that Jesus understands and is always there to comfort you.

Wednesday: God, who created the entire universe, is full of mercy and comfort for us, small though we are in relation to the rest of creation. Let’s meditate today on the truth that the God of all creation cares tenderly for our hurting hearts.

Thursday: God often uses people to comfort others and touch them with his love and grace. Ask God to give you discernment and compassion, to recognize when others are hurting so you can comfort them.

Friday: Pray for people you know who are grieving or struggling in some way. Ask God to be close to them and to fill their hearts and minds with his peace and comfort.

Saturday: Thank God for the way Jesus showed us God’s compassion. Thank him also that he can use our pain and brokenness to someday help us comfort others, lending purpose to our times of sorrow. Move forward with him, asking that your struggles enable you to experience more of Jesus’ presence in your life, maybe not today, but over time.