I recently wrote a prayer that perhaps could also benefit another reader. Especially since we often unknowingly are fighting against many of the same battles, just in different ways. (You can listen to the podcast above or continue reading to listen/view the rest of this post.)
Sometimes, it’s hard to put into words what we are feeling and it’s easier to just move on to the next part of our day. But I have found that spending even just 10 minutes in the morning of peace – before picking up my phone, reading emails, cleaning the house, responding to another’s needs – can be life altering.
And it is in these times that I often learn more about myself and the day ahead than a whole 24 hours could teach me. It is also in these quite times that I find direction and reassurance for not just the day ahead, but for the years to come. Creating the practice of getting up 10 minutes early, or setting the boundary that you simply will not “start” your day until having time with peace, is one of the most healthy decisions you will ever make. I guarantee it – as I am living proof.
I will be honest, there are some mornings when I don’t feel like doing this. But it’s often on such days that I find myself benefitting from this disciplined time the most. For me, I take 15 minutes to watch a quick sermon or to read my Bible before then writing and reflecting on what I believe Jesus is leading me to know that day. I always pray that the words I share and the thoughts I have would be directed by Him, not by whatever feelings or biases I may be fighting with that day. It’s incredible sometimes the meaning I can draw on even the most seemingly blah of days. That’s how I know the messages I write and wisdom I gather are truly from God.
However, I also know that this help and direction would not be possible if I did not actively choose to give Him this time each day. Not because He isn’t capable, but because I am not fully listening. (It’s like trying to ace a course without ever going to class. And then being mad at the teacher when you feel lost.)
So, I thought I would share today’s writing in case there is a reader or listener who can relate – or is in need of some hope. Especially in a day and time where peace is not often a priority, or if it is – we simply don’t know how to find it. Here is a personal prayer I wrote, but I am sharing in hopes that it can help you.
You know that throughout my life, I have often felt at war with myself, with the injustices that I see, with the ways of this world, and with the controlling belief that I am always made for more. A belief that can reduce my current value and belief in the purpose of the present. And you know – more than I do – the place from which my heart truly flows, yet this place has often felt turbulent and out of control.
And while turbulent waters are powerful, sometimes they are hard to direct.
Raging rivers can unintentionally carve deep valleys within themselves while seeking to supply life sources to streams and outlets nearby. Jesus, my life has often felt like that. Wandering with power. But God, I know you are the Lord of both peace and power. And you know that I’ve got the power, but not always the peace. It’s not something I am familiar with – nor something I have seen as an asset.
But I am learning and finding that peace is integral to focused, joyful, prioritized, effective, and long-lasting power. Not turbulent bursts of power that respect no boundaries. Efforts like this don’t allow other streams or rains the chance to flow into our own lives. They don’t allow us to have full faith in you while we are constantly at war with ourselves.
To the eye, peace can seem less powerful than a raging storm. But in fact, it is peace that has the ultimate power to calm even the wildest of storms. Because peace is greater. I believe this is why you remind us in your Word to set our eyes on what we don’t see; for what we see is temporary, but what we don’t see is eternal. Because it is always easier to focus on the raging storms around and within us that we can see – than it is to see and believe in the peace waiting to saturate our lives – and calm the storms.
Power is not making noise, living in fear, playing the victim, or seeking attention. Power lies in wisdom, perseverance, self-awareness, and strategic use of our gifts and energy.
I thank you that you are a beautiful example of how power and peace intertwine to create the most impactful source of life. More so than even the strongest and most intense rush of any river on earth could.
I am not used to aligning peace with my power, but I pray you would help me learn how to do so. And that you would show me how much better this way is. So that I can both enjoy life and accomplish the greater tasks you have for me – on your time.
Because who ever said a prerequisite to success and growth must be constant strife and exhaustion? I don’t believe any of us can be our best selves and reflect your light while also wandering in the rush of our own rivers.
Jesus, I pray you would take the power you have given me and humble it before peace. Because in order for this gift of power to accomplish its greatest purpose, it most grow wings and not fists. I pray the power within me would be full of room for you and not crowded by complaints. And I pray that above all else – this power would become your tool for goodness and miracles, not a source of mental enslavement to my own stubborn and short-sighted perceptions.
For my dreams have a greater chance of being accomplished in your hands and in a peaceful heart than they ever will in an isolated raging river of power. And perhaps – the path to genuine success and growth I have desired is found directly by learning to live in your peaceful power.