Peace has been the theme for the second week of Advent. And what a week for it, as yet another mass shooting claimed the lives of people in San Bernardino, California, and violence continues to erupt in various places around the globe.
The shouting “to do something” has gotten louder, though not more peaceful. Both sides of the aisle (pick your venue) argue vehemently about their beliefs. On one side they declare: “Let’s Pray.” On the other side they declare, as did one New York Daily News headline: “God Isn’t Fixing This.”
Both sides are correct. And during this Advent season of preparation, which anticipates the birth of one who will be called Prince of Peace, all of us have an opportunity to understand some truths about God and prayer. No, God isn’t fixing this. And yes, prayer works.
It’s true. God isn’t going to fix this – or anything else. Despite what some may believe, God won’t appear from the sky like Superman or Wonder Woman. God isn’t a Superhero rushing in to save us from ourselves. Neither is God a Master Puppeteer, capriciously pulling our strings. And no amount of praying, beseeching, crying, cajoling, bombing, or shooting is going to change God.
However – and it’s a big however – we can change, if we choose to – even when we don’t particularly like or agree with circumstances around us. Change is our choice, now, and as much as it was, long before Jesus was born. The common denominator is us. We’re the ones who can change – or not. So, when we pray, we don’t pray to change God. We pray to change ourselves, to align ourselves with God, Divine Creator and Source of All, Infinite Compassion, Unconditional Love.
Our prayers for peace, understanding, guidance, prosperity, or anything else aren’t ever about getting God to “do” something. God doesn’t choose for us. We choose. And in prayer, we understand which choices are best for us, based on our own spiritual understanding.
Every prayer we pray can guide us, because prayer activates the divine power within us – the same divine power which Jesus and all spiritual masters and mystics have. So, in prayer, we don’t ask God to fix, do or choose anything. Rather, if we remain in a place of surrender, our prayers often provide clarity. This allows us to see the road ahead and to act at our highest level of spiritual development and understanding.
During Advent, as we await the birth of the child to be called a beacon of Peace to the world, we also prepare ourselves. Because this child isn’t one child; this child is all of us.
The Presence of God within us is preparing to be born, as beacons of peace – in our world, now. This peace begins in prayer, aligned with God, one step out in the world at a time – as us.
In this Advent season, may peace be with you, Blessed Reader and may you also be peace.
© 2015 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks. All rights reserved.