Meditation on Scripture: Peace

This is the second of the prayer stations I participated in this last week.

For this prayer station, there are some sections of the Gospel of John to read and to reflect on.  Think about what the text means to you, how does it impact on your life, your thoughts, and your behaviour.

You can find the prayer reflection on Approaches to Prayer.

The readings are:

John 14:27

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
(NIV)

Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isiah 9:6)

If you’d like to study more on this verse (incl. commentary) check out BibleHub

John 20:19-23

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
(NIV)

There’s more to study in this verse on BibleHub

So this one took a bit of reading and a lot of thinking. Taken in context, in the first verse, John 14:27, Jesus is about to leave his disciples, and he senses their anxiety and takes that away from them.  Ignoring the context and by just focusing on the verse I arrived at this:

Our worries and fears are fleeting, as much as the world’s peace is short-lived; we need to have the confidence to release them, or they will eternally weigh us down. If we knew the big picture as Jesus did, we would not be troubled – instead, focus on the arrival of the kingdom; everything that takes place possibly happens to bring that about.

The second part of this reflection is more of a challenge directed at us, as individuals.  We are all called to share the good news, to spread the word of our Lord, to share His peace with everyone.  First, we need to learn to accept it ourselves, which means being at peace within as well.  Share whatever troubles you with God, Jesus is there to intervene for us too, so there is nothing to be shy about; God already knows what is in our hearts, we just need to accept who we are before we can indeed move forward.  Opening ourselves to Jesus is a brilliant first step in doing all of that. If you open the door, Jesus will step through it.

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For everything, there is a time…

While the summer break is happening and many people are taking a well-earned rest, we have replaced our usual weekly cafe church with a series of prayer stations.  We are invited, over the coming weeks, to spend time involved with each activity, quietly reflecting on what we read, see, think, or do.

The first I picked up was a writing exercise; no prizes for guessing why I picked that one!

The writing station consisted of two parts from Approaches to Prayer.

Part One: What time is it?

Consider the twenty-four-hour clock and imagine where you are in it (i.e. what time of day) and why you believe you are at that point. Think about the things you might have wanted to do, have done, are still to do.  At that time of the clock, which would you chose to do, put aside and complete now?

Part Two: Reflect on the last twenty-four hours.

The second part included a reflection on the last twenty-four hours.  There are some excellent journalling prompts if that’s your thing:

  • Where you were
  • What you did
  • What you said
  • What was said to you
  • How you felt throughout

and so on…

Again this is all a writing exercise, and I guess the aim of it is to make you think about what has taken place, how you fit into it, how God fits in with it and what was your relationship with God like throughout it all.  The reflection is in several parts:

  1. Pick a few times from the day for which you would like to thank God
  2. Choose events which caused you concern or anxiety, and offer them to God
  3. Are there times in the day where you marred God’s image in you
  4. Identify a point in the day where
    • God touched your life
    • God was revealed to you
    • God spoke to you
  5. Looking back, think about the insights you have gained
  6. Did you miss something that God was trying to say to you at the time?
  7. Is there something that God is encouraging you to do?

I wrote about two pages of stuff, which is all very personal to me.  If I managed to keep a journal, I don’t think I’d be short of things to put in it.  Have a go at any or all of the things that this prayer station provided, it can help you destress by offloading your thoughts, and it’ll certainly help you sleep better at night.  Dump all of your cares before sleep, so your mind doesn’t dwell on them.  Use a diary, a journal or better yet, talk it through with God via prayer.  Remember, He already knows your innermost thoughts, your worries and your hopes and dreams – talk about them and share them openly with God, take off those chains of anxiety and fear that bind you, and trust in Him to guide you.