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A Prayer For Peace

Dear Lord Jesus, were I to sit down to list the titles I would instinctively give You, I’m not sure “preacher” would be on my initial list. But if anyone deserves that name, it is You. What is Christmas? It’s You coming nearer than near to us in Your incarnation. You have come to us from Heaven preaching peace— the peace for which we are desperate; the peace only You could purchase; the peace of which You alone are Prince. You give a peace the world cannot give (John 14:27). We greet You this day, O glorious herald of hope and healer of our hearts.

As a preacher, Your primary text was Your life, Lord Jesus. For You, Yourself, are our peace. It was while we were still enemies, You reconciled us to God by Your death (Romans 5:10). We were living life apart from You, “alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). We weren’t seeking God, He was seeking us. And on the cross, You destroyed—obliterated, annihilated—the hostility between God and us (Ephesians 2:14). You are the Peacemaker of all peacemakers, Jesus. We praise and adore You!

Now, in Your resurrection glory, You’re the One who is constantly preaching the gospel of peace to us, through the widest array of preachers imaginable. Forgive us when we look to mere human preachers to do what You alone can do. For only You, Jesus, can apply the gospel to hearts that are dead in sin and trespasses (Ephesians 2:1-7) and hearts, like mine, that are ever prone to stray from the gospel of grace. We praise You for Your tenacity and faithfulness.

Jesus, You also preach the gospel to us as those who participate in a wide array of broken relationships. You’ve come, not just to reconcile us to God, but also to one another. You are committed to destroying all kinds of hostilities and reconciling all kinds of people—in the body of Christ, in our families, in our communities, even with our enemies. In this present season of Christmas, many of us have witnessed and wept over the brokenness and disconnect that marks too many of our relationships. We believe: help our unbelief.

Glorious Prince of Peace, You who one day will reconcile wolves and lambs, leopards and goats, calves and lions—give us the desire, the humility, and the grace to be a people of peace in this upcoming New Year. As far as it is in our own power (Romans 12:18-21) and as far as the power of the gospel will take us, free us for living as agents of Your reconciling love. So we pray, in Your peerless and peace-full name.

—Scotty Smith