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War & PeaceWar & Peace
by Rubel Shelly

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God’s mercy upon them, and give thanks. Pray this way for kings and all others who are in authority, so that we can live in peace and quietness, in godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, for he wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and people. He is the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. (1 Timothy 2:1-6)

    A massive military buildup continues in the Middle East. Both conviction and partisanship have divided people over its appropriateness. Diplomacy continues with staunch allies, reluctant governments, and obdurate enemies. We are a nation at risk to terrorists in a world that is tense over the nearness of war.

    Some claim to see biblical prophecy in process of fulfillment. Frankly, I see the constant human condition extending itself into another generation. People quarrel and make war because of evil desires that know no limits. They don’t care who gets hurt by violence — so long as they have territory, wealth, and power.

    I confess to a strong sense of resentment toward those who see America as an arrogant, warmongering nation. It is not so! I get angry at the insults hurled at our national leaders. We didn’t create this crisis! Yet I am also aware that anger and resentment must not blind us to the perils we face in preparing for war.

    So what should we do? Please join me in doing two things.

    First, identify and make sacrifices on behalf of people you know who have had their lives interrupted by 9/11 and its aftermath. There is probably a family in your circle of acquaintances whose life has been turned upside down by military deployment. More are likely to follow very soon.

    Some of the mates and children of people pulled out of their normal life routines will suffer greatly, unless those of us who are being served and defended by them step up. Your company, your church, your Bible study group, your family — ask that others join you to meet their needs. Let their sacrifice become yours as well. Let patriotism and compassion link you to them in very practical ways.

    Second, pray continually. Pray for our nation and its leaders. Pray for other nations. Pray for soldiers and their families. Pray for civilians in harm’s way. Pray for God to show a path to authentic peace in a time that heralds war.

    Holy God, deliver our world from war, bloodshed, and terror! Turn hearts ruled by hatred from their evil intentions, and let justice roll down like waters. Bless our president, his advisors, and the leaders of other nations to find a path to peace. If there can be no peace except by the defeat of evil powers, grant courage, strength, and swift victory. We plead for compassion to aid the suffering, to rescue the refugees, and to find a way to peace with people who today are our enemies. We beseech you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

      © 2003, Rubel Shelly. Used by permission. From Rubel Shelly's "FAX of Life" printed each Tuesday. See Faith Matters for previous issues of the "FAX of Life."

      Title: "War & Peace"
      Author: Rubel Shelly
      Publication Date: March 5, 2003

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