Then all the people of Israel, the whole army, went up and came to Bethel and wept. They sat there before the LORD and fasted that day until evening, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. And the people of Israel inquired of the LORD.
The prayers of the Israelite army were saturated with tears. Israel was at war…with their brothers. Relatives killing relatives. Thousands were killed on both sides. They fought for their lives and cried as they fought. Herbert Lockyer wrote, “In times of national crisis, the courts of the Most High, largely deserted in more peaceful times, are visited. If only people, as a whole, would frequent the temple of God at all times civil strife would not arise (All the Prayers of the Bible, 58).
Division in a country is disheartening; division in a family is devastating. There—in a family—the battles are bathed with tears. When civil war breaks out in homes, lives and legacies are destroyed. Let’s focus today on our homes.
- For those experiencing division: Ask God to humble and soften the hearts of all involved. Ask him to cause those fighting to call a cease-fire and seek (and grant) sincere forgiveness. Ask for God’s peace to replace human strife. Ask for laughter to replace tears. Ask God for you to be an instrument of his peace.
- For those experiencing peace: Thank God for the great gift of living together in unity. Ask God to keep all family members from allowing any hurt to fester into bitterness. Ask God to guard the peace in your home.
Lord, allow me to be a minister of your peace. Help me be a spiritual leader who addresses anything threatening the peace of my family. Lord, please guard my home with your peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
And…keep praying for God’s peace….
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