A Prayer for the One Feeling Overwhelmed
By Ashley Moore
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” - John 14:27, NIV
Yes, our society is desperately struggling to find peace, for their anxious and restless lives.
Life is too short to be anxious and constantly bent out of shape. And even more, I’m convinced when I allow my life to become like that, that Jesus didn’t want it to be this way.
When Jesus was having one of several final conversations with His disciples before His death and resurrection, He said the words from our key verse. He wanted them to know He was leaving them, but He didn’t want them to live in a state of panic. He knew their life would be hard, but He didn’t want them to think that He had abandoned them. He acknowledged that they would miss His presence, but He wanted them to know that He would give them His presence in a new way, and with it, they would also have His peace (John 14:25-28).
I love that Jesus took the time to compare His peace to the false sense of peace that the world gives us. You see, the world says to have peace, you have to be on a luxurious vacation in Malibu. Or to have peace, you have to have complete financial security, a great job, and a 401k to boot. The world says that you’ll finally have peace when your life looks like someone else’s Instagram feed.
This world offers fake peace that leaves us chasing a moving target. Jesus said you will have peace when you have my Spirit because the fruit of the Spirit is peace ( Galatians 5:22-23). This isn’t peace that we can get from this world. This kind of peace only comes from a relationship with God.
This kind of peace isn’t rattled when our finances aren’t where we want them to be or worse, when we are in financial despair. Jesus’s peace is still there as we wait for daily bread, sometimes moment by moment. The peace that God gives helps us to celebrate others’ accomplishments and give thanks for what God has generously given us.
So when my heart is troubled and anxious, I have to ask myself, where are you looking for peace? When we find our peace in God, the Holy Spirit empowers us to live in a way that baffles the world. Onlookers don’t understand how we can be so peaceful while they frantically search for what can only be found in Christ. So today, when you are overwhelmed, instead of looking to the world for a reprieve, ask God for His peace.
Thank you for giving us the gift of a relationship with you through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. But God, you don’t stop there! You also ensure that we know you have not abandoned us by giving us the gift of your Holy Spirit. Lord, when we face difficulties, and we get overwhelmed, we have the assurance that you are with us because we have your Spirit living inside of us. And God, with that, you give us the unshakeable gift of peace.
Lord, I pray you would help us to remember where we find true rest and true peace. Lord, forgive us for chasing down peace from this world. Lord, as you know, it never lasts. More money does not lead to peace; it creates new problems. More security just leads to more frenzied attempts at managing our lives. And attempting to live someone else’s life robs us of all joy, Jesus. I pray you’d give us the strength to turn away from these false sources of peace. Help us turn to you, God.
You give us peace that the world cannot give and the world cannot take away. Jesus, help us believe and trust that every word you say is true. You are with us, you are for us, and you will give us peace so we don’t have to be troubled or afraid.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
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Ashley Moore is a writer and host of be the two™podcast. She is known for her relatability and for passionately writing and speaking about mental, emotional, and relational health from a biblical worldview. She has written for Kingdom Edge Magazine, Guideposts, Crosswalk, The Secret Place, enLIVEn, The Bubbling Brook and more. If Ashley isn't writing, you can find her with her husband, three children, and two floppy-eared Goldens on their south Georgia farmland. The best way to connect with Ashley is to grab a free devotional or Bible study and join her newsletter at free.ashleynicolemoore.com.
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