Praying for 'perfect peace'

Throughout the world people are yearning for peace. And not just stability in some areas and war in others—what we are really looking for might be called “perfect peace.” What would perfect peace look like? How would we recognize it?

The Bible promises, “Thou [God] wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3). To have our mind stayed on God means to have our consciousness so filled with thoughts of God that there is no room for anything else. We see the world and all that is in it in the way God sees it. And how does God see the world? The first chapter of Genesis concludes, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (verse 31). With this good view there isn’t room for conflict, discord, or war.

Elisha, one of the Old Testament prophets, gave us an example of the outcome of “perfect peace.” The sixth chapter of II Kings describes how Elisha took part in what looked to be a protracted war between Israel and Syria. It states that the king of Syria made war against Israel and sent his army to pursue their army. Elisha was able to discern Syria’s plans through prayer, and warned the king of Israel at least three times where the Syrians were in order to avoid them (see verse 10). The king of Syria wanted to capture Elisha and bring him back to Syria, and he sent a great number of soldiers with horses and chariots and surrounded Dothan, the city where Elisha was. The next morning, Elisha’s servant saw the army surrounding the city and made a fearful report to the prophet. Yet Elisha’s mind was so stayed on God that he could see that God’s forces supporting him were greater than the forces of the opposing army. Elisha prayed that the servant’s eyes would be opened, and when they were, he saw “the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha” (verse 17).

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July 7, 2014

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