Friday, November 11, 2016

praying for peace in a world of war

Lewis tells us about pacifism today in A Year with C.S. Lewis.

He tells us that war follows war, and pacifism that teaches us to lay down weapons and not resist evil ends with the world being rid of all pacifists. Maybe he's right, but it's a dark observation in any case.

But that brings up the idea of praying for peace. As pretty much everyone agrees, war is terrible. It means families separated, loved ones killed, and beautiful places in the world destroyed. The only thing war is good for, Schindler (among others) would say, is the economy. And that is another dark observation.

Peace allows people time to learn and grow. It gives us a chance to make the world better, full of art and music and love. So praying for peace, in which we can do these things, is a good thing. But we should pray realizing that our prayers for peace are, in a sense, a waging of war at the same time.

When we pray for peace, and we pray for God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, we're waging a spiritual war against the powers and principalities of this world. Our prayers for peace are a direct attack on the purposes of our enemy, who wants to sow division, hatred, and fear in the whole human race, causing us to destroy each other.

So when we pray for peace, we should realize that even though our prayers are good, purposeful, and being answered... they're not being answered in a vacuum. As we work to bring about God's kingdom on earth, we see how the enemy is trying to undo His work at the same time. So in our prayers, let's remain wise as serpents (knowing that peace will never come in its fullness until the end of time), but innocent as doves (praying for His peace to come into our lives and throughout the world, if only for today.)

God, thank You for giving us peace in the middle of our fallen, war-torn world.

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