December 19, 2021

For to us a child is born,
     to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
     and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
     Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

To prepare our hearts and minds for our last Sunday of advent as we consider how Jesus is our Prince of Peace, I found this prayer by pastor Scotty Smith’s blog Heavenward to be helpful. I encourage you to find a quiet moment before Sunday to sit with this prayer, read it slowly, pausing to personalize it’s petitions. We all need the peace that only Jesus provides “to rule in our hearts” (Col. 3:15) in increasing measure.

Dear Lord Jesus, today, like every day, somebody or something is going to seize the passion and preoccupation of my heart. Some entity will be the “boss of me,” the ruler of the manor, the fascination of my imagination.

It could be my bitterness, pettiness, or cowardice. It could be shame from the past or fear in the present. It could be overbearing people or aggravating co-workers; my greed to have a little more, or my “need” to be criticized less; the lusts of my flesh or the longings of my soul; old regrets or new fantasies; my pet poodle or pet peeves—any of a number of things will clamor for the best of me.

But right now, in submission to Paul’s admonition (Col. 3:15), I choose your peace as the ruler of my heart—as the centering and focusing power for this moment and day. No one is better at giving peace than you, Lord Jesus, for you are the Prince of Peace.

On the cross you secured God’s peace with us and our peace with God. The enmity and hostility between us have been obliterated and eradicated; now there is no condemnation and a full and permanent acceptance. How can I not overflow with gratitude?

May your peace override the fears and stress, disappointments and irritants, which will vie for my energy today. No matter what news I receive today—personally or internationally, may your peace be more obvious than my anxieties and uncertainty. May your peace especially rule in my relationships.

Because you have forgiven me, I will choose to forgive others. Because you have forgiven me, I will choose to ask forgiveness from others. Because you are at peace with me, I will do everything within my power to live at peace with others. So I pray, in your merciful and mighty name. Amen.

Erik Thoennes will be preaching on Jesus the Prince of Peace this Sunday and Kenny Clark will be leading our sung worship. Would you pray for each as they prepare.

See you Sunday, Grace. Come hungry!

Song Link of the Week

A Day of Glory by Austin Stone Worship

A day, a day of promise
A hope to end our woe
A day that tells of triumph
Against our vanquished foe

In flesh, His entrance humble
The swaddling clothes His robe
The meek displayed in power
The Prince of Peace now known