matterofprayer blog post for Friday, August 29, 2014
Grace and Peace and Hugs
Praying for others can be wishing them grace and peace. People who are in your house, or next door. People who are across town or across the country. People you are mad at, or feeling sad about. People you don’t even know.
Yes, when we intercede for each other, we have the opportunity to ask God to bless others. Wish them grace and peace. “Grace” is a typical Greek greeting, and “peace” (or shalom) is a Jewish blessing and greeting. Grace also has the idea of unmerited favor wrapped up in it. Peace/shalom is not only the general concept of harmony, concord, quiet and tranquility, but it also holds a Jewish component. The idea of wholeness and harmoniousness. The Apostle Paul coined a new phrase as he started greeting people in his letters with these two words.
My, that’s a huge deal to be wrapped up in two little words.
I wanted to add the “hugs” part. Grace, peace and hugs. When the Apostle Paul was signing off, he sometimes would say a phrase like “Greet every saint in Christ Jesus.” (from Philippians 4:21) This is the English translation. In the original Greek, Paul’s readers would read ‘aspazomai.’ That means even more than “greet.” That word means to enfold in one’s arms, even to welcome and embrace each other.
So when we pray for each other, we can wish each other grace, peace and hugs. What a wonderful expression, what a marvelous prayer. And, what a nurturing, encouraging way to act toward one another, too.
Let’s pray! Dear Lord, Gracious God, we thank You for the Apostle Paul’s words, written in the New Testament. Thank You for his faithfulness and earnest prayers for all the saints. Dear God, as each of us is encouraged to pray for one another, help us remember Paul’s excellent example. We can wish each other grace, peace and hugs! And You can embrace each of us with Your everlasting arms of comfort and care, too. In Your name we pray, amen.
(also published at www.matterofprayer.net Shortlink: