Praying for Peace

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The time for confession is now. Confess what you have in word or action, by night or by day. Confess while it is the acceptable time, and receive the heavenly treasure in the day of salvation

Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 1.5

Once again, the news is so striking that I don’t know what to say. In my mind, I kept thinking, “God, give us peace.” Over and over, I thought these words. While flipping through some devotional books, I found the above quote from Cyril of Jerusalem. It’s in one of his Catechetical Lectures. These are the instructions he gave to people who were learning about the Christian faith.

I wanted God to give me peace, but I did not start by acknowledging my place before my maker. My place begins in contrition. Instead of demanding peace, I should begin by saying, “Lord, you are God. I am not. I fall short of your perfection and need your forgiveness.” Then, like each one of us, I can catalog everything I have done (or left undone) to separate myself from God.

Having confessed, we can bask in the glory of being forgiven because God is quick to forgive.

Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.

Psalm 46.10

In the stillness of confession and forgiveness, peace can come in an unusual way. It doesn’t change the turmoil of the world. It doesn’t undo the evil sweeping through human hearts.

Confession and forgiveness changes me. It gives me a sense of God’s peace. Maybe I can share that with others.

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