Praying for Peace
The Canadian Friend, August 2002



     "If people really wanted peace, they would ask God, and God would give it to them. But why should God give the world peace, which it does not really want? For the peace the world seems to desire is not really peace at all. To some people, peace really means the liberty to exploit other people without fear of retaliation or interference. To others, peace means the freedom to rob one another without interruption. To still others, it means the leisure to devour the goods of the earth without being compelled to interrupt their pleasures to feed those whom their greed is starving. And to practically everybody, peace implies the absence of any physical violence that might cast a shadow over lives devoted to the satisfaction of their animal appetites for comfort and pleasure.

Many people like these have asked God for what they thought was 'peace' and wondered why their prayer was not answered. They could not understand that it actually was answered. God left them with what they desired, for their idea of of peace was only another form of war. So, instead of loving what you think is peace, love other people and love God, above all. And, instead of hating the people you think are warmakers, hate the appetites and the disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war." 

Thomas Merton

The Canadian Friend, Prayer, August 2002  

From whence come wars and fights among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. James 4:1-3

From The Peace Witness of  the Religious Society of Friends: Quakers. The Quaker Website


Dean Johnson Ministries