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To the saints of Twelve Corners Presbyterian Church,

In a fast-paced, non-stop, often hectic world, peace can be tough to come by.  I often hear people say (and say, myself), “I just need to finish __________.  Then I can have time for some rest,” or “When I make it through ___________, there will finally be some peace.”  But these momentary and short-lived times of peace weren’t what Jesus had in mind.  For Jesus, the way to be at peace was to make a lifestyle out of it.  To give over fears, anxieties, angers, busyness, and everything that can disrupt peace, to God – to be still, and know that God is covering all things.

It’s easy to go through a day without really connecting with God.  We might remember that God is there, but forget to spend much time with God.  And without God at the center of our lives, peace can quickly disappear, too.  This is why it’s so important to spend time in prayer each day.  It’s not about obedience or being “faithful.”  Regular daily prayer is about keeping connected to God and, through feeling how close God is to us, finding  peace and rest in the nearness of Christ’s Spirit.

Here are two simple offerings to help us connect with God, each day.  The first is part of a prayer titled, “St. Patrick’s Breastplate,” and you may recognize lyrics from a number of our common hymns:

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

One common hymn with these lyrics is “O Christ, Surround Me.”  Even when we forget all of these words, in a moment of struggle, we could simply pray “O Christ, surround me,” and remember that his Spirit is there.

Second, for the tech savvy, there’s a wonderful app for Androids and iPhones called “Pray As You Go.”  It’s an audio app that gives scripture, music, silence, and a meditation, all in about 12 minutes (great for a work break!).  There’s a new one each day, and you can even set reminders to help you carve out the time.

Whether it’s through these tools, or your own, staying personally connected to Christ is key to our inward sense of peace, that becomes our outward sense of grace, in the name of Christ.  Try this practice this month, and see what happens!

Peace in the Grace of Christ, Kevin