Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Prayer God Will Always Say Yes To (fifth in a series of ten)

Have you ever said to yourself “The stress is killing me, it really is?” Sometimes stress shows up in anxiety attacks – pounding heart, shortness of breath, that tight feeling in your chest, tunnel vision, dizziness, dry mouth. Anybody experienced one of those? Headaches, distracted thoughts, short memories, even shorter fuses, stress is bad news.

One of the most powerful prayers God always says yes to is “Please give me peace.” It is impossible to enjoy life, no matter how good it is, without peace within yourself. You can have youth, health, beauty, wealth, an amazing job, the love of your life, a wonderful family....but if you’re feeling stressed out then every day is a nightmare. On the other hand, if you have peace within yourself, then you can handle anything life brings along.

Most of us deal with anxiety and stress on a daily basis. We live in the information age, with noise all around us, the bombardment of t.v., radio, computer, cell phone, i-pods, the news, the weather, advertisements. We live in a tension filled, pressure packed kind of culture. You try to cope, maybe with healthy methods, maybe with not so healthy methods. What makes calmness so elusive today? Why is it so hard to find peace?

Because people have a mistaken notion about peace. Inner peace can’t be achieved simply through mental discipline, and it isn’t dependant on outside events. Inner peace comes through faith.

Real peace is from God, it is His gift. Real peace can’t exist apart from God because it is hart of His very nature. God brought peace and order to the chaos in Genesis 1. Peace and order go together. When Jesus commanded the storms to calm down He would say “Be still.” Jesus said to His disciples, “I leave you peace” and “My peace I give to you.”

How quickly will you sense God’s peace? That depends on how close your relationship is with the Lord. Since peace is His nature, and His nature fills the believer, then the question becomes, how much of your inner life have you surrendered to the Lord? Does He fill you? Does He occupy your thoughts, and direct the desires of your heart? Or are you holding Him at arms length, closing off parts of your inner life to Him?

The more of you that you give to the Lord to fill, the more you will sense His peace flooding your soul, that quiet, confident faith that pushes out fear, stress and anxiety.

Sometimes inner peace will be linked with outer change. Maybe there is a lifestyle issue that is causing you anxiety. God will show it to you. Maybe there is some unfinished business causing blanket stress. God will bring that up. God will give you peace, but He will give it you on His terms, sometimes helping you restructure, rearrange and rebuild your life to fit His perfect plan. Are you ready for that?

You see, when you pray “Please give me peace,” what God will give you goes way beyond emotions. True peace is union with God, being right with Him and intimately involved with Him.


These thoughts on prayer are taken from the Catholic author Anthony DeStefano's delightful book, "Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To: Divine Answers To Life's Most Difficult Problems."

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