ACCESS TO PEACE AT HOME
Categories: Life Enrichment
“Great peace have they which love Thy law”– Psalm 119:165
I have been much grieved to go through a number of letters I receive, because many of them contain problems which affect their home-life. So they get perplexed and write to me, “We do not know what to do.” Some of the problems which often arise are:-
- Our neighbours have resorted to witchcraft against our family.
- People are plotting against me in my place of work.
- My family members are trying to yoke me with an infidel through marriage.
Instead of writing to each and every one who is confronted with the above problems, I feel it is better to write about it with my experiences and quoting Biblical truths.
Because of the above problems the peace in the family is disturbed.
“God hath called us to peace”(I.Corinthians.7:15b).
It is the will of God that all of us should have peaceful lives. He came down from Heaven to this earth to bring peace. Just before He left for His Father’s Home, Jesus the Prince of Peace said,
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you”(John.14:27) .
So, it is clear that God wants us to lead a serene and peaceful life. If peace is to reign supreme in a family, all the members in it should have a prosperous living.
As the above mentioned problems affect the prosperity of the family, the peace in that family is also destroyed. Since St. John understood clearly all this, he wrote to his well-beloved Gaius, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (III.John:2) . If it is so, how can the above problems be solved?
In Matthew 17:14-21 , we find that a young man who was ‘a lunatic and sore vexed’ was brought to the disciples. But they were not able to cast out the devil. Then they came to Jesus apart and asked Him why they could not cure the young man. He immediately retorted, “Because of your unbelief.” Not only that, he also said,
“Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”
From this we find that there are different kinds of evil spirits and some cannot be driven out but by fasting and prayer.
I have seen the great agony of the parents when they see their children suffering like this due to the works of the devil. It looks as if the great agony borne by these parents because of their love for their beloved children is greater than the sufferings undergone by the children themselves. In such cases, will it be always possible to put in practice all those that the Holy Father has revealed about faith, prayer and fasting? Can those people who hold responsible positions follow them? It is indeed very difficult. Even in many God-fearing homes, I have seen the struggle with such enemies. I feel that instead of writing about this theoretically, it will be better to illustrate this with an incident.
There is a family in which all the members are well educated. Both the parents were working and so they used to be away the whole day. The children were all studying and so they too were away from home during day time. The family was quite prosperous and they had a happy and peaceful home life. The owner of the next house became jealous of these people. With the help of certain magicians, he caused a young boy in the family to be possessed by the seven plagues. In the evening, he could not lift his legs or walk. He became completely bedridden.
Three years passed. Many pious Christians told him that unless he became a member of their particular church, he could not be cured. Thus they confused his state of mind and made him lose his peace. But the parents were, with firm faith, praying to God. They took him to a number of revival meetings. But he could not be cured.
A simple servant of God, who focused his mind and thought on nothing but the cross of Jesus heard about it and met the young boy. He fasted for three days and prayed for that young boy. On the third day, the evil spirits which brought about those seven plagues began to attack him. He spent a sleepless night, but prayed with tears the whole night. The evil spirits departed.
On the fourth day, in the morning, suddenly the young boy got up from his bed and began to walk. The boy, who was in bed for three years and five months, walked about 3 kilometers that day. He went to the church also. All the people were greatly amazed. Is this not an example to show how with fasting and prayer, one can overcome the devil?
When the young man affected with lunacy was brought to the disciples, surely with great faith and fervent prayers, they would have tried to cast out the devil. But they could not succeed. Jesus points out that the reason for this failure was nothing but their lack of faith. With faith everything is possible. But He continued to say,
“This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”
So, He makes it clear that in order to get this unfeigned faith, fasting and prayer are quite essential.
Fasting helps us to humble ourselves before God and seek Him in all earnestness. When the Ammonites and the others came against King Jehoshaphat, he, in order to seek the Lord proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah (II.Chronicles.20:3) . The Lord heard his supplication and delivered him from the enemies. In the same way, in order to seek a right way, Ezra proclaimed a fast near the river of Ahava so that they might afflict themselves before their God and seek from Him the right way (Ezra 8:21, 23) . God ‘was entreated of’ them.
We can read about many other persons in the Bible who were thus benefited by prayer and fasting. When His children humble themselves before Him, He giveth grace.
“God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (I.Peter.5:5, James.4:6)(I.Peter.5:5, James.4:6) .
He exalteth them.
“He that shall humble himself shall be exalted”(Matthew.23:12) .
Dear children of God, though you may have perfect faith in God and pray to Him, when necessity arises and you feel that you have no strength to fast, please don’t forget that there are servants of God, filled with the Holy Spirit, ever willing to pray for you and your children. You can find them out by their fruits. Jesus who asks us to be beware of false prophets, says at the same time, “Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew.7:16) . So, when you find such sincere servants by their fruits and go to them for prayer and fasting, God also hears their prayers and grants an answer to them.
If such troubles have creeped into your families, I would like to give the following pieces of advice to the young people.
- Don’t hate those people who have sinned against you. Through your fasting and praying, try to overcome the enemy.
- “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers (II.Corinthians.6:14) . Through your fasting and prayer the unchanging and boundless love of Christ can surely get you out of your difficulty and show you the right path. God, who showed Ezra and his men the ‘Right Way’, will surely show you also “The Right Way”.
“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.”(Philippians.4:6, 7)