I grew up in church. My childhood was spent doing faith with friends. I went to a parochial school. My dad and I both sang in the choir and I played the organ. I’ve always said that if the doors of the church were open … we were there!
Psalm 122 begins…
I was glad when they said to me,Psalm 122:1
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
When David wrote this Psalm, God’s people were traveling to Jerusalem to worship. Each year, there were three major festivals that brought the people together to praise and worship the One who had rescued them from Egypt and brought them to the Promised Land.
So, David added this prayer…
Pray for peace in Jerusalem.Psalm 122:6–9
May all who love this city prosper.
O Jerusalem, may there be peace within your walls
and prosperity in your palaces.
For the sake of my family and friends, I will say,
“May you have peace.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek what is best for you, O Jerusalem.
The peace David was asking for was not just for the absence of war. It was a prayer for [people to experience] “completeness, health, justice, prosperity, and protection.” (LAB Notes)
And as we read this prayer today, once again the people in Israel are in need of peace in every way. Yet, it’s so tempting for us to look to the things the world offers to give us peace and security.
But nothing in this world on its own can ever give or guarantee real and lasting peace.
We all want true peace. The kind of peace that calms hearts and minds, unites families and strengthens communities of faith. The kind of peace that surrounds and sustains when health fails, justice can’t be found, needs overwhelm, and danger threatens.
Just days before His suffering and death, Jesus told His disciples the following ..
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
Real peace is knowing that when the world offers us everything but peace, Jesus is our peace. By God’s grace, His Spirit is with us and within us reminding us that we are on a pilgrimage traveling to the New Jerusalem together with a community of faithful followers.
So, if we want true peace, we need to do faith with friends. We need to KNOW, TRUST, and LOVE Jesus and worship together. We need to pray for and encourage each other. We need to care for one another with kindness and compassion. We need to live life together.
I like the Message paraphrase of Paul’s advice to the Colossians…
Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.Colossians 3:15–17 (MSG)
A Prayer to Find Peace
Through Faith with Friends
Father, thank you so much for the friends and family with whom I can share my faith and lift You up in worship with praise. They inspire me to focus on You when I’m distracted. They encourage me to remain strong when I’m discouraged. They fill me with hope when they testify to the ways You have helped and encouraged them.
I feel blessed to have been able to live my faith with friends throughout my life. I have had mentors who walked with me as others had walked with them before. We are all on this journey of faith together. We need each other.
So, I ask You … please give us Your peace. Please unite us and make us complete as we work together in faith. Fill us with the power of Your Spirit so that we might not let foolish and unimportant discussions separate and divide us. Keep us focused on You through worship, praise, prayer, and Your living and powerful Word.
With Your help, I will SEEK You and what You say is best. I will do all I can to live in peace and share Your love. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray. Amen.
Let’s close today with a few quotes about doing faith with friends…
“There is a brotherhood within the Body of Believers, and the Lord Jesus Christ is the common denominator. Friendship and fellowship are the legal tender among Believers.” ~ J. Vernon McGee
“The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.” – C.S Lewis
Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Ecclesiastes 4:9–10
[Spiritual friendship] “is eagerly helping one another know, serve, love, and resemble God in deeper and deeper ways.” – Tim Keller
“I want the whole Christ for my Saviour, the whole Bible for my book, the whole Church for my fellowship, and the whole world for my mission field.” ~ John Wesley
May the Lord bless and encourage you as you SEEK to KNOW, TRUST, and LOVE Him and live your faith with friends. May we all pray for “peace in Jerusalem.”
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