As we begin a new year, my thoughts always turn to self examination. How can I grow this year? What do I need to work on? I ponder the Fruit of the Spririt and wonder how well I am bearing fruit. In these reflections, it brought to mind this prayer I have shared before with my faithful followers, and yet, seems worthy of a repeat. For I know that I cannot grow without His divine intervention. Perhaps this prayer will speak to your heart as it speaks to mine today.
“Let there be Peace on Earth
And let it begin with me…”
O Father, Dear Precious Lord,
We sing the words, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” Yet Lord, how do I find that peace? What must I do?
For if there is to be peace on earth, then it surely must begin with me. It must start in my heart.
O Lord, if there is to be peace on earth, then…
There must be kindness. Let me be kind to strangers, to my neighbors, to my family, to my spouse. Let me speak softly. Let me help and not harm. May my words and deeds encourage others.
There must be goodness. Let me not only do good, but be filled with goodness. Let the smile on my face be genuine, belying good intentions and positive thoughts.
There must be gentleness. Let me reach out to others with a tender touch. Let me have no need of praise or applause, but instead, focus on the needs and interests of those around me. Let me encourage them with uplifting words and sincere interest in their joys and their sorrows.
There must be patience. Let me slow down. Let me wait my turn. Let me show understanding instead of frustration. Let me smile and offer a kind word, instead of snapping a grumpy reply. When my carefully laid plans go awry, let me accept it with grace. Let me put others first, attending to their needs before turning to my own.
There must be faithfulness. Let me be trustworthy. May I keep my word, that others can count on me. May I be steady, that others might rely on my counsel, my support, my affirmations. Let me have endurance in the trials of this life, that I might keep the faith. May the light of my faith shine brightly, that in me, they might see You.
There must be self-control. May I turn away from the greed and avarice around me. May I want less and give more. Let me hold my temper, tame my tongue, cleanse my thoughts. May I refuse to blame and shame. May I shun the need to fill myself with food or drink as an escape from pain or boredom. Instead, may I find my comfort in You alone.
There must be joy. Let me learn to be content regardless of my circumstances. Let me have eyes to see the good things of life, to notice the beauty of Your creation, to cherish the good people you have placed in my path. Let me hear the birds sing, the laughter of children, the twinkle of music in the air. Let me rejoice in each of these moments, that I might not miss their treasure.
There must be love. Above all, there must be love. Let me love abundantly. Let me not hold back my affections, but let all who meet me feel my love. May I embrace others with words and actions deeply rooted in love. May Your love flow through me and wash over those around me. May the light of Your love shine so brightly in me that those I meet might be bathed in the glow of Your marvelous Light.
O Lord, change me. Create in me a clean heart and a right spirit. For truly I pray, let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.
In The Holy Name of Jesus, we pray,
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-25 – NIV
Friends, as we begin 2019, let’s keep in step with the Spirit. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with our hearts.