by Rick Love
What pops into your mind when you hear the word “Peacemaker”?
Someone who builds bridges between people in conflict? Someone who helps people talk through problems? Someone who is blessed by Jesus? Or perhaps you think of Jesus, the ultimate and greatest peacemaker?
I bet you didn’t say, “Someone who prays!”
Most peacemakers I know are better at talking and listening than they are at praying. Certainly, wise speech and attentive listening are fundamental peace practices. But so is prayer.
In fact, the discipline of prayer is a key component of peacemaking.
The discipline of prayer leads us into the presence of the Prince of Peace. Prayer keeps us centered on Jesus. As Paul says in Ephesians 2:14 about Jesus, “For He himself is our peace.”
He himself! Not teaching about peace. Not doctrine about Jesus. He himself. His living presence. Jesus is the embodiment of peace and peacemaking! And prayer connects us to Jesus.
Not only does prayer keep us centered on Jesus but it also imparts personal peace. I like how George Halvorson says it: “Peace needs to be a value and a strategy as well as a state of being” (The Art of Intergroup Peace, italics mine). Prayer helps us experience and embody personal peace.
James teaches that “peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness” (James 3:18). Sowing in peace implies modeling and embodying the message. As the saying goes, “the medium IS the message!”
Paul the apostle prayed for peace in every one of his letters. He also prayed for peace in every aspect of our lives: “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way” (2 Thessalonians 3:16).
Notice once again: “May the Lord of peace himself give you peace.” Meeting with Jesus brings peace. Sitting with Jesus brings peace. It’s not the discipline of prayer (that’s just the means). It’s Jesus!
Peace at all times and in every way! Now that is kingdom living. And praise the Lord we are partakers of the kingdom. This peace is not automatic, and we still live on this side of the kingdom in its fullness. But we can and do experience a foretaste of the peaceable kingdom if we pray.
I pray this prayer continually for myself and others. I know that I experience more peace as I pray this prayer. So, learn to pray down the peace. Memorize this prayer and pray it continually.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts (Colossians. 3:15)!