This is how we begin every Liturgical Service in the Orthodox Church. We begin with peace because if we do not have peace we cannot pray. True?
In Orthodox theology we have to try and be reconciled to every person before we come to Liturgy. Matthew 5:23-24 “Therefore if you bring you gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
When we pray we are offering ourselves as a gift at the altar. We cannot do this if we are not reconciled, in other words, at peace with all including ourselves.
How many times do we come to worship and we are holding a grudge against the person who is sitting right in front of us. In Peace let us pray to the Lord. How can we pray in peace, or pray for that other person if we are looking at them in scorn?
I am not sure how many times in the Liturgy the peace is used but my guess is we use it a lot. Peace is an important component of worship as we have seen in Matthew’s Gospel that I quoted above.
“… and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7) Pray for peace because it will help you have peace, peace in your heart, your mind, and your soul.
When I was kid we used to sing the song “Let there be Peace on Earth” The best line from that song is “Let there be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me!” Peace has to begin at home, the home of your own heart and your own soul. If we do not have peace within there will be no peace without.
Take time today to make peace with yourself. Then go make peace with some else.