Prayers for peace for our nation have been flooding my social media pages this last week in a way it hasn’t before. This is understandable in the wake of an ambush on the Capitol that hasn’t taken place since the War of 1812. When things like this happen, I think its normal for people to feel rattled as it threatens our way of life and intrudes upon the peace and stability we need to provide for and protect ourselves and our families. Nevertheless, while this is an understandable response, it is not a spiritual one. The truth is that as Christians, we should not only refrain from praying for peace in this world, but in many ways we shouldn't even be expecting it.
Born On A Battlefield
All too often, it seems Christians forget amid our technologies, struggles, needs, desires, responsibilities, and rights that we are living in a fallen world. This fallen world doesn’t just mean that life is hard or that we are born spiritually separated from God but that our lifetimes are spent dead smack in the middle of a battlefield. Unfortunately, instead of us putting on the armor that God has given us to fight and win the battle, too many Christians are building their homes, decking it out with nice furniture, and trying to be comfortable right on the front lines. We spend so much time and energy trying to make life better for ourselves that we forget about the spiritual warfare that is also taking place on a much larger scale. Then, when things happen that remind us that we are at war, we are quick to start scrambling and praying for peace. But in too many cases, what we are often praying for is the ability to go back to living like we are not at war.
Satan is king
One of the main things about being Christian is that we are to see life from more than just our five senses but also grow to perceive it from our spiritual ones. When we learn to do this, we know that a word is not only fleeting syllables that come from our mouths, or that angry people aren't just upset about a bad day, and that what might look like losing is not always defeat.
Well in the same respect, we should know that no matter how nice and even comfortable life can seem at times, especially for us Americans, or how caught up we become in our personal goals and challenges, it doesn’t change the fact that Satan is the ruler of this world. And if we believe as the Bible says that Satan is the ruler, does it really make sense to pray for and expect peace in our nation? Better yet, is sustained peace even possible? Furthermore, what does it mean when the soldiers that God has on this earth to do His will and defeat the enemy are instead praying to live with him in peace?
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Matthew 24:6
Get Behind Me Satan
Praying for peace during war reminds me of Peter, telling Christ that He wouldn't die after He revealed his destiny of the cross to the apostles. What may have seemed to Peter's natural eyes as genuine concern for a loved one and friend, Jesus responded by calling him Satan (Matt. 16:21-23).
Some may say that praying for peace for our nation is different and that there is nothing wrong with doing so. If so, how could we even expect such prayers to be answered when the scriptures not only warn us that these things will happen but that they MUST happen, and we shouldn't be afraid when they do (Matt. 24:6-8). So, if these things must happen and God tells us not to be afraid when they do, aren't we being like Peter when we are instead praying for peace—the total opposite. Aren't we, like Peter, praying more for earthly concerns instead of aligning ourselves with the will and plans of God?
Even Jesus said I have not come to bring peace but a sword (Matt. 10:34). And right before He left the apostles and ascended to heaven, He said, I do not pray for the world but only those you have given me (Jhn 17:9). The supernatural reality is that the world's turmoil is a product of living in a fallen state. This turmoil and our inability to sustain peace are often the very things that help us recognize our need for a savior— for Christ. If it was always peaceful or we could sustain peace for any significant period of time, no one would ever need or acknowledge God and be none the wiser.
Not My Will
Instead of praying for peace in times like these, what we should be praying for, as Jesus did in the garden when he clearly did not want to suffer through a crucifixion is, "not my will but yours be done" (Luke 22:41-43). And then receiving and resting in God's strength and supernatural peace to complete our task and weather any storm that comes. Instead of trying to hold on to our comforts, being so rattled by what we are seeing, or simply focusing on making life easier and better for ourselves and our loved ones, we ought to be trusting God even when everything around us begs and encourages us to do otherwise.
If we continue praying for peace and plastering it across social media, we not only give ourselves false hope but unintentionally make a mockery of God for those who point the finger and say, look, your God did not answer. We also set ourselves up to waiver in our faith as we may eventually feel unheard and invisible to God. We also show that we have a little more growing to do as our spiritual eyes have yet to grow beyond our natural ones.
So set this idea of praying for peace in the nation aside and put on your spiritual armor, and start praying that God's will be done and helping to save souls in this war. Let's demonstrates God's peace, strength, and resilience that makes those shaking in the their boots wonder about the God we serve. Let's remember that we are not only God's children, but also his soldiers.
Stephanie K. was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She has a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and various coaching certifications. (read more)
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