Peace and Joy
This practice is a way of posturing ourselves to be people of peace and joy. It is grounded in Philippians 4:4-9.
Begin with a few deep breaths as a way of settling your mind, opening your heart, being present and acknowledging the Lord’s presence.I’d encourage slowly reading Philippians 4:4-9; but you may also go directly to the 4 segments of the practice if you prefer. I’d suggest lingering for about 2 minutes on each segment (about 10 minutes total for this practice).
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
THANK – call to mind a few specific things you are thankful for – a person, moment, etc. What feelings arise as you rest in this gratitude? Express that thanksgiving to God (it is also good to write those thanks or share with another person).
PRESENT – what do you want to say to God (prayer, petition)? Pick one or two things for today (in every situation) that you want to turn over (present) to the Lord. It can help to say something like: Jesus, I give this ____ to you.
THINK – what true and positive beliefs (see v8) do you want to hold on to today? What thoughts bring you peace or joy? Choose one to keep before you throughout the day. Set your full attention on these things.
PRACTICE – what will you do or say today that will lead to peace and joy (others and yours)? Ask the Holy Spirit, what do you want me to do today (better, what do you want us to do together) as acts of peace and joy.
End with the statement: For today I trust and receive that the peace of God will guard me because you, the God of peace, are with me.