When We Gather To Pray…

…We Experience Peace

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”     —John 16:33

What fills you with dread? Public speaking, perhaps, or a deadline. Maybe the weather report, or the dentist. Or maybe your mind goes straight to the mother of all fears, death. The point being, there’s a lot in the world to fear. And sometimes it seems those things are getting worse every day.

After two years of working through the dreadful maze of a pandemic, and finally feeling like the end was in sight and things could return back to a level of normalcy, we find chaos coming again like the next wave. Today the world experienced a ratcheting up of dread due to the Russian attacks on Ukraine. The immediate effects will be economic, but the worst case scenarios can’t help but play out in the public imagination. Dread, it seems, is unrelenting. And peace, we feel, is just a hope.

But take heart, for Christ has overcome the world.

Do you believe those words? The disciples had a hard time believing those words. They had heard them directly from the mouth of Christ, but still they scattered in fear when Jesus was arrested and put to death. And we even know how the story ends, yet still we live with fear.

Why do we struggle to believe that Christ has overcome the world. Why does fear and dread so often still control us?

Well part of it I think is that there’s a disconnect between the words we read in the Bible and our hearts. We read it, but deep down we don’t truly believe it. For the truth to get down deep, it takes a work of the Holy Spirit. Reading is merely a human work, but prayer is the work of God. And so to believe it, we have to pray it. In prayer, the Spirit works through the Word of God to shape and renew our hearts and minds, ridding us of a spirit of fear and replacing it with a spirit of love.

And if we seek the Lord together in prayer, then we get to share in the peace that he offers us. We can take heart as the body of Christ and stand in confidence that our God has overcome the world, and there is nothing to fear.

So come and join us this Sunday evening at 6pm as we pray and fill our hearts with His peace.

Matthew Lautz

Director of Worship Arts