Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Prayers for Peace

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and humans, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.I desire then that in every place the people should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling. 1 Timothy 2:1-8

In cleaning up my office this morning, I can upon pages from an old journal when my oldest daughter was small and an only child. It was a challenging time in our lives, when we had moved back from Colorado after my husband lost his job. The theatre he was working for had many layoffs that year and he was among them. We packed up a truck and moved in with my parents. It was a time I learned how to pray, to really pray, when everything seemed uncertain. It was easy to be angry about our circumstances. My parents were kind to share their home with us but it was not what we had in mind for our lives. I had a lot of talks with God, that year, and in my searching found a way to live beyond the fear and desire to be quarrelsome. Rather I learned to know myself as tenderly held, just as I tenderly cared for our little one - and she took care of us also.

The letter to Timothy illustrates the challenge of living a faithful life in uncertain times - whether there is political strife, financial challenges, job loss, bereavement - in all of these challenges we are invited to practice prayer, to lift up hands to God and pour our hearts and souls at the feet of Jesus. In fat and rich times, the salad, light filled summer days, it is easy to forget to pray. But in times likes these, prayer is the only thing that gets us through.

Today I ask God to help me be prayerful in everything I do. May the bumps and disappointments be invitations to prayer. May the difficult people and the complex arrangement foster a poster of praying for peace and seeking peace in all things. May we all find a way to pray in the midst of our hardest times, so that Christ's light might shine in our darkness and illumine the world around us.

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