There’s no doubt about it – peace seems in short supply almost everywhere you turn these days. Families are stressed by the struggling economy; employers are stressed just trying to stay in business; political leaders are stressed trying to find the answers to all the questions pushed up to them. Tempers grow shorter and shorter, evidenced by daring traffic moves, angry voices exchanging expletives over picket fences, and long-suffering sighs heard in the check-out lines at the grocery store. Will there ever be an end to the struggle just to survive?
While I may not be able to answer that last question, perhaps I can shed some Light on a way to get through it, overcome some of those challenges facing you day in and day out that make you wonder if you’ll ever learn the lesson Life seems committed to hammering into you. The answer? Prayer. Specifically, praying for peace. Peace for yourself, your family, your friends and co-workers, even you adversaries.
The first thing you need is an open mind and a willing heart. It’s not a get-peace-quick scheme or pie-in-the-sky-Pollyanna philosophy. It is a practice that takes time and repetition and commitment to see results. You may see results very soon; if you’re prone to doubt or have a lack of discipline, results may take a bit longer. But if you are open and receptive to these ideas, you will soon find yourself experiencing fewer outbursts and probably surprising your friends with your new laid-back response method rather than the acute knee-jerk that breaks your jaw reaction you used to express.
If you’re still reading this, there’s a good chance you’re willing to follow the instructions and start enjoying the results sooner rather than later. Let’s begin.
Suspend whatever you think prayer “should” be. For our purposes, prayer is a simple activity designed to communicate with God (Spirit, Higher Power, Creator, Allah, etc., but we’ll use “God” here). While we think we are communicating our desires and wishes to God, however, we are actually aligning with that deeper part of ourSelves that is always already connected to God. We don’t have to tell God anything, but it’s beneficial for us to get clear on what we’re really thinking, and what we really want. Half of the stuff we often pray for ends up not being what we thought we wanted.
But we can agree that we all want to experience more peace. Peace for our purposes means that state or quality of being that allows us to be aware of the things going on around us but at the same time have a sense of detachment emotionally so we can maintain a peaceful countenance and have the clear thinking to be able to respond with what is needed.
Praying for peace should not be confused with praying for the solution to all of Life’s problems (winning the lottery, marrying the perfect mate, getting all the right stuff, or being placed in the perfect employment). Praying for peace is agreeing to align with God in that space that is peaceful and complete, no matter the exterior circumstances. It truly is the “peace that surpasses all understanding.”
Identify what peace means to you, remembering that it really is not the absence of challenges, but more the attitude of dealing with them. Get a good clear picture in your heart and mind of what peace means. What does it feel like? It’s not a physical, tangible thing, but it is something that can be felt, like Love. It might be helpful to write out your description. Spend some time with the idea so you can get a clear perception of it (so you will recognize it when you experience it!).
When you are ready, make yourself calm and relaxed. Turn off all external media or other interruptions. ALLOW yourself to experience the quiet of your environment (peace has a beautiful quality of stillness in it). Make yourself comfortable. Spend a few minutes relaxing your body and clearing your head. Begin with breathing slowly and deeply; with each exhalation, feel yourself relaxing more and more.
Express your gratitude to God for all the blessings in your life. No matter how much is going on, there, in the midst of it, is plenty to be grateful for. Acknowledge it. Claim it. Honor it. Then open your heart and mind to what you want to say and be receptive to the feelings that come to you. Don’t be critical or judgmental about any of it – observe and let it go, then go back to the feeling of gratitude.
Inhale. Exhale. Several times. Close your eyes. Give yourself permission to relax. Acknowledge God’s presence where you are. Focus on your heart area. Allow the Love within you to expand outwardly so that you are a beaming beacon of Light, Truth, and Love. Continue breathing deeply and use the following to help you in your prayer for peace; continue to breathe deeply and calmly throughout this exercise.
Blessed Spirit. We are thankful that You are present with us always. We know that there is no condition where Your will is not expressed in a good way. God is with us now.
Holy Spirit, thank You for the blessings you have bestowed upon us. Make us aware more and more every day of all the good there is in the world. We remember that by focusing on the good around us, we become more aware of it and more conscious of it in our experience. Focusing on the good helps us to be calm and mindful of Your presence.
Help us to know that whenever we feel the most anxious, the most frustrated, the most aggravated, these are the times we should stop and turn within to identify why the conditions around us are causing this reaction. Truly we know that it is not the outward event that is causing our distress or lack of peace, but it is our reaction to what is happening. Once we identify the triggers that keep us from experiencing peace, we can then choose a different type of response that will bring us the results we seek.
Thank You, Precious Spirit, for giving us all we need to celebrate and actuate the Peacefulness of Your Countenance anytime we choose. Peace is a choice we make each moment of the day, just as happiness is a choice. By making conscious decisions to choose the Path to Peace, we also achieve greater levels of happiness, for one cannot be happy without peace, and one cannot have peace without experiencing a higher degree of happiness in their life. Thank You for this knowledge.
Thank You, Precious Spirit, for expressing Your Divine Presence in and through our thoughts, actions, words, and attitudes. By making the decision to become more peaceful in our own lives, we are naturally expressing Your essence in and through our interactions with others, which ripples back to us as more peace.
Peace is a process; anytime hectic events appear, we first choose how we will respond. We always choose the path that leads to more peace.
Blessed Spirit, thank You for hearing our prayer and for expressing as Perfect Peace in our Lives.
You can adapt this to your own style, but it gives you an idea of how to approach the idea of peace through prayer. God won’t automatically give us peace – it is a process to be learned and adopted as a lifestyle; we can learn to express Divine Peace when we align ourselves with God’s Divine Purpose, knowing that God’s Will is for Good Everywhere and for Everyone, not just for certain people living in certain communities.
God Bless You on your Journey to Peace – persistence, practice, and patience, will surely get you there!