Pray for Peacemakers (02-03-22)
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbour bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:13-18)
When children are squabbling, whether it is in the home or in school, it takes wisdom to know when and how to intervene. The hope must be that with a bit of guidance to both parties, and with encouragement to negotiate, they will be able to sort things out themselves.
The same is true when adults fall out, whether it is a couple, a community or a country. But sometimes it is necessary to intervene, to act as a peacemaker, and this can be costly for the peacemaker.
Jesus came to this earth as God’s peacemaker, to fix the relationship between a Holy God and a wayward human race, a task which he would fulfil, but at the cost of his life.
It is perhaps not surprising, then, that Jesus says, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God’ for the role of peacemaker clearly comes from the very heart of God.
In these verses from James we see a contrast between the qualities of ‘Bitter envy and selfish ambition’ which lead to disorder, conflict and division, and the qualities of godly wisdom, which are, ‘Peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere’
Where nations fight against nations, let us pray that God will raise up peacemakers full of godly wisdom, that wars may cease and that families, communities and nations can live in peace.
And where there are conflicts closer to home, in families, workplaces and communities, let us too seek godly wisdom that we may be peacemakers after the heart of God, and so be blessed by God.
Jesus, Prince of Peace, raise up peacemakers after your heart, to work for a just and gracious peace in all the troubled areas of the world, and especially between Ukraine and Russia.
Let there be peace on earth