A Prayer for Peace at Christmas
It was still dark this morning as I drove to the gym. Blue, white, red, and green Christmas lights twinkled from the eaves and railings of homes and businesses along the way. A contemporary carol played on the radio. When it ended, the hourly news broadcast began. The headlines seemed a stark contrast to the serenity of my morning thus far.
Yesterday two bombs in Turkey killed dozens—mostly police officers. A massive explosion in a Coptic church in Cairo killed 25—mostly women and children. Thousands of injured and malnourished civilians are fleeing the city of Aleppo. The grim reports ended only when I parked my car and turned off the ignition.
Those reports seem so distant. They’re overseas, miles and miles from my home and family. It’s easy to brush them off and go about my daily routine. But if I pause to think about these statistics as precious souls who have left behind grieving and distraught children, siblings, parents and spouses, I’m struck with the reality of the pain experienced every day around the world.
How can I, one woman living in British Columbia’s lower mainland, make a difference? Here’s my thought: I can pray for these people to know Jesus, the Prince of Peace, and find comfort in His presence.
Isaiah 9:6 is everywhere I turn this season: “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Might God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
These words bear a constant reminder that Jesus—the reason for this Christmas season—came as the Prince of Peace. No sorrow is too big and no fear is too great for Him to calm and soothe. This morning, even though I’m separated by thousands of miles from the people directly impacted by these weekend tragedies, I pray that Jesus will rush to their rescue and reveal Himself to them as Prince of Peace.
I pray the same for those within my circle of friends and acquaintances, and for my readers. Christmas can be a difficult season for many. No matter the circumstances, Jesus promises to bring peace when we open our hearts to Him and trust Him with our deepest pain.
Would you join me in praying for people whose Christmas is anything but joyful?
“Heavenly Father, You know the pain that countless men and women carry this season. Some are going through the motions of decorating their homes and buying gifts, but their hearts are heavy. Some, living in war-torn Syria, are fleeing for their lives this very moment. And some—like those who lost loved ones in Turkey and Egypt yesterday—are trying to make sense of senseless, violent acts. Father, we cry out to You on their behalf.
“Jesus came into the world as Prince of Peace. Would You please open people’s eyes to see that He is the answer? Would You please open people’s hearts to receive Him and to walk in His ways? Show them that You offer comfort for those who mourn. Send them the practical helps they need today, and make us—Your children—aware of practical things we can do as Your ambassadors of peace. Amen.”
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