Excerpts from the book by Ken Gire
We all want the outer, measurable, touch-it, see-it miracle. But here’s the rub about faith. Prayer changes things, it calms things and us, it soothes and restores. But what things are actually changed or restored is not in our hands or under or control.
Though we long for the miracle of the outward variety, the only real guaranteed miracle God offers us is inner peace, the peace of Christ. A peace so deep it cannot be analyzed or understood. It just descends on us even when everything else is falling apart.
Getting to a place of steady inner calm is not easy. Even Jesus struggled when he was in Gethsemane and peace eluded Him. But —- He eventually experienced calm.
If Jesus struggled in His darkest days to get from despair to calm, then we should not be surprised that the miracle of inner peace is a journey and a process for us too. And it is often two steps forward, one back.
If we have experienced God’s peace before, if Jesus has found us before, then we know He will show up again.
1 Samuel 7:12 (KJV) — Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us. The stone memorial would serve as a tangible reminder that in the most dire circumstances God intervenes. God saves. God rescues.
Where are those moments in your journey to which you can point and say, “That is where I experienced God’s peace”? When you return to / remember those moments that mark God’s faithfulness in your life, you are given fresh eyes to see how God might work again.
Prayer of Relinquishment is a name given to a type of prayer by Catherine Marshall. You can find her on the Internet. A Prayer of Relinquishment is the prayer we pray when, exhausted from praying, we release every hope that our circumstances might be different and trust entirely in God’s will for us. It is that prayer that says, and truly means, “Not my will, but Yours, be done.” It’s not a prayer meant to manipulate God. Rather, it is a complete submission to God’s will, whatever it may be.
We learn to pray in our storms (trials and tribulations). The storm(s) becomes our school of prayer. In a storm there are no requisite word counts. There is no formal grammar. There are no lofty phrases.
While we are looking for rescue, Jesus is looking for faith.
Sometimes it takes a lot of sweat, tears and agony to get to the point of peace, but prayer is what leads us there, just as it led our Lord.
According to Paul, peace comes through prayer, and most notably when those requests are made in the context of gratitude. Without the context of gratitude, our needs loom exceedingly large, blown to excessive proportions. Gratitude, however, gives us a lens through which to see properly. When we pray with gratitude, God’s peace guards our hearts.
Philippians 4:6 & 7 (KJV) — Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
God protects us with a peace that preserves us from the assaults of anxiety.
Isaiah 26:3 (KJV) — Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
When believers pray, God’s incomprehensible peace comforts them in the storms they face.
The persons who know the deep peace of God, the unfathomable peace that passeth all understanding, are always men and women of much prayer. R.A. Torrey
Prayer requires the faith to believe that God listens. Peace comes when we know, really know, that God hears us.
Jesus invites us to sit with Him a spell and tell Him all about everything on our hearts and minds.
We are reminded of God’s presence in the prayers of the palmist and others.
Through scripture, we are girded by peace as we witness the Father’s faithfulness to His Son, Jesus.
In God’s Word, we experience calm as we turn our eyes away from the storm and on to the reliable witness of God’s faithfulness.
As we allow God’s Word to penetrate the deep places of our being, we experience the calming comfort of God’s presence with us.
Psalm 23:4b (KJV) — I will fear no evil: for thou art with me
Psalm 34:18 (NKJV) — the LORD is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Matthew 11:28 (KJV) — Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 28:20b (KJV) — and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
John 1:14a (KJV) — And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us
Hebrews 13:5b (KJV) — for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee
During those perilous times when we are least able to receive God’s grace in the most traditional ways, when we are desperate for peace in the chaos of our lives, God’s Spirit can minister through words that calm our hearts and bring meaning to our suffering.
When we open our eyes to see God’s wonder, we recognize His steadfast presence, even as the wind blows.
The Lord offers nourishment that sustains over the long haul.
When life’s storms rage, God does not abandon us. Rather, in the midst of the chaos, God graciously extends His salvation to those who turn to Him.
Whatever storm you’re facing today, you can be certain that God sees. God knows. God cares.
If you’re that person who’s stranded on a rooftop as waters rise, God is your rescuer in the storm.
The miracle God guarantees, however is not that He’ll calm the storm. It’s that He’ll calm His child. God’s promise is that the peace of Christ, a peace we cannot fathom, descends upon us when everything else is falling apart.
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