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A peacemaker’s prayer of hope for last year and the year ahead

These are crazy days in many ways, and there’s no doubt we need peace as much as ever, today.  As we embark on a year that, in our Lord, we insist being hopeful about — remembering others are following our lead — it’s wise and good to commit that hope to prayer.

The following is an anticipatory prayer of hope that peace might be brought into being amid contemplation for the person praying it.

Gracious, peace-loving Father God

Last year as you know was a year that was so tough for so many.  I take this opportunity to reflect over your faithfulness during the seasons of turmoil and uncertainty.

Throughout a year of unparalleled loss in times of relative peace, we consider the cost, societally, within our communities, and personally.  I honour those who struggled yet still looked to you for their peace.

Give us the space of silence now to remember those who died and also those family members who lost loved ones.  Impress upon our hearts some measure of the magnitude of their loss, the grief they bear, and bless us with compassion for them. 

Give comfort and rest to hearts and eyes of those who bear pain today.

As we look forward into this fresh new year, I pray that you would give me the wisdom to relate well with all in my circle of influence, with patience, gentleness and kindness for all — notwithstanding whether I’m respected or not.

Give me the capacity to hear your Spirit well, to discern, to decide to walk humbly with you, to believe the best about others, and to do my peace as well as it depends on me.

Help me, Lord, to please and honour you as I sense the opportunities that exist in the conflicts that are certainly coming.  Help me be convinced in my own heart that I can serve others well, even when they’re disappointed by me, misunderstand me, or especially when I feel let down or betrayed.

Grace me, gracious God, with the capacity to grow more into the likeness of my Saviour, Lord and King, Jesus of Nazareth, who came, the Word becoming flesh, to die upon a Roman cross to make peace between us and God.

Thank you for your peace, Lord.  I give you praise indeed for the mercy I’ve received and the power of your Holy Spirit that you bequeath — power to live at peace with all the lives my life touches.

In living as a peacemaker, I am grateful for blueprint you’ve laid out in the Bible.  To get the log out of my own eye, and to be the one to make the first move to restore the person I’m in conflict with gently.  For the hope of reconciliation and restoration of relationship.

These things — the hope of the gospel of peace — I’m so thankful for.

In Jesus’ empowering name I pray

AMEN.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)  As we remind ourselves that we rest in God’s eternal care whether we’re here on this earth or home with him, we recognise afresh that God’s desire of us here is that, as we live at peace with him by our salvation, that we also live at peace amid our humanity amongst other human beings, as far as that depends on us (Romans 12:18).

If you are looking for peace in 2021 why not think about coming along to PeaceWise training. the 2021 programme is now available here.

This article is by Steve Wickham. Steve has been married to Sarah for 12 years. They have one son, and Steve has three adult daughters. Steve has a passion for peacemaking and is a PeaceWise trainer. He has worked as a registered safety practitioner in chemical manufacture, downstream petroleum, and ports initially. He has also served as a pastor, counsellor and school chaplain.

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