Prayers for Passion Week: Pray for Knowledge of Peace

Pray for Knowledge of Peace

John 16:32-33

It's crazy to know that Jesus jammed so much of his teaching and encouragement into the last few hours before his death. Literally hours before his arrest, Jesus, at the end of the Last Supper drops truths about his reason for being with the disciples for the last few years and reason for coming to Earth. As food is being cleared from the table, the disciples have one of the realest conversations with their leader than they've had in years. Jesus lets them know that he is leaving them, and even though he promises them the Holy Spirit, they still have a bit of anxiety. Along with the Spirit he promises them that they will have joy. But right before they leave the upper room and head towards the darkest day in history, he gives them bad news... and a key reminder.

You will leave Him alone...

Ever seen a child that can't find his parents in a store? To look into their eyes is to see a persons world shattering. The fear of being lost ... being by isolated... not having the one you trust to hold on to is one that can halt you. The irony is ... almost every time a child is in a situation like this, it is because they were the one that wandered away. The disciples are about to wander. Jesus will get arrested and end up being crucified. And when he's up there ... He will be alone. The same man who fed thousands, taught hundreds and loved many would be alone on the worst day in history. The allegiance of the disciples would flutter in the temptation to fear persecution and death. Although He'd never wander... he knows that as mere men and women that we will. Even when we've walked with him, grown to trust Him more and see outright His purpose in our lives. We tend to wander.

Yet I am not alone...

While the disciples run in fear (just as we would do too), the Lord is still comforted. While in front of Pilate ... while being stripped and beaten ... and while walking up Golgotha, Jesus says that His Father would be with HIm. Completely abandoned by us but completely embraced by His Father. But Jesus isn't bragging or being passive aggressive about the disciples' frailty. He is actually boasting in the fact that it was His time. His mission was near completion and faith in His works would bring about an eternal shift. PEACE!!!

Shalom

Our understanding of peace is lack of war or hate but Jesus was referring to an even greater peace. Shalom is more about completion with full blessing. It is a rich solution to all pain, all stress, all trouble, and all disturbance; one that supplements the frail elements with God's graciousness. The egregious war between sin and man was about to be interrupted by a peacemaker and His name is Jesus. A peace that cannot be removed (Isaiah 54:10). Jesus' weekend would usher in this shalom between us and God!

You will have tribulation

Although Jesus' words were effective for examining how we are saved, we cannot forget that they were for real people. The 11 who were at the table and even some others who may have been in the upper room. "... In the world you will have tribulation" Jesus says. He knew how tough the next few days would be for them. Death of a brother. Being hunted because of their association. Sorrow. Anger. Embarrassment. Helplessness. Anxiety. Depression and more. The disciples would be in a world of trouble both internally and externally, and that is natural. See, even after all that time with Jesus, they still lived in a fallen world. That is one thing that the cross didn't even change. But what did change was their ability to be overtaken by it. Jesus tells them that the world will provide a great amount of persecution but IN HIM they would have... shalom. The key to these things are the two words IN HIM. "In Him" the disciples were made a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and they would be brought to live more like Christ each day (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24). They would have peace... knowing that they are eternally secure and being formed to look more like Christ each day  ... by faith. 

So on the fifth day of Passion Week ... we pray that the knowledge of peace dwells in our hearts and minds each day. Some times ... especially when life hits hard, we can forget that Jesus has given us shalom. That he has OVERCOME THE WORLD! (v. 33b). Whether you are headed towards some the worst times of your life or your are coming out from them, let's pray that we remember that Jesus is our peace and he has made all things new.

Jesus.
You are my peace.
Whether from death or worry
anxiety or anger
depression or debt.
You have given me life, and with it
you have promised that if my heart is on you
That I would have peace in you.
Even when I wander, you do not leave me lost
You are my peace.
This I know.
Amen.


Here is an article of Psalms that remind us that the Lord is in control and that he is our peace. Click here.

Byron L. Cogdell