Peace and prayer

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In this Sunday’s message (Dec. 10, 2023), Brother Dave addresses this congregant question: “I was always taught and still hear that to have peace means everything is good and as it should be, or that we must deny reality to have peace. Prayer has been used as a weapon to make sure everything is ‘OK,’ but there are some things we can’t make better, like diagnoses for our children, war that is out of our control, people who use power to manipulate us, and so on. How can we view peace and prayer that acknowledges that prayer won’t take away uncomfortable, hard things and that peace isn’t just avoidance of reality? I’m tired of prayer being weaponized to claim false peace so everyone feels good about life, because let’s be honest, life is difficult and unfair, and I desire prayer and peace to fit into that reality, not to be used to ignore reality.” Drawing from Jeremiah 8:6–22, Isaiah 1:2–17, and Amos 5:4–24, Brother Dave argues that prayer for peace requires avoiding “spiritual bypass” and “toxic positivity” and facing directly the reality of injustice. Once we see the world and our lives for what they really are, we are led to prayers of lament and repentance, followed by right action for justice. Only then will God hear and begin to answer our prayers of petition for peace.

Notes

Spiritual Bypassing and How to Avoid It,” Mindworks (online article)
Spiritual Bypassing,” The Diamond Net (online video)