Everybody is looking for peace. Typically when we say we want peace, what we really want is an absence of storms. One time Jesus spoke to a storm and stilled it, but on another occasion in the midst of a storm, He said, “I’m here. Take courage. Don’t be afraid” (Matt. 14:27). Then He commanded His friend Peter to walk toward Him in the midst of the storm that tested his faith.
The point is this: Jesus does not remove all the storms even of His friends, but He is present in them with us. He comes walking on top of them to demonstrate to us that He has reasons for them and to show us His greater glory. Sometimes the footprints of His presence are not obvious: “Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen” (Ps. 77:19). Even then, the wind and the waves are under His feet that were later nail-pierced for us.
Think about your own life. When did you sense God’s presence the strongest? Was it when a doctor gravely told you that you needed surgery? Was it through the hours of a loved one’s last days? Was it when a friend betrayed you? Was it when you could not see the future but trusted that God was guiding? Were these times of His presence challenging or sweet, or both? In times like those, Jesus calls you blessed. “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:49).
Why is peace a prayer issue? Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, coupled prayer with peace that passes understanding. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7). That word that is translated as guard literally means “to mount a garrison around.” It isa battle to not let fear and worry rule our hearts and mind. Prayer allows us to give everything to God in prayer and receive His peace.
God’s peace is one of the benefits of our covenant relationship with Him. Hear God’s voice speaking this to you today:
This is what the LORD says- he who created you, O Jacob,
He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
And when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
The flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
You are precious and honored in my sight, and I love you.
Do not be afraid,
for I am with you. Isaiah 43:1-5
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand
And says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:10,13
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
© 2000 Sylvia Gunter. based on Prayer Essentials For Living In His Presence, Vol 2, page 18. Available at www.thefathersbusiness.com An archive of past devotionals is available on the website.