Today's readings invite us into at least two styles of prayer. The first, as Paul says, is to pray with the trust that produces peace, remembering that God urges us toward unimaginable good in every circumstance.
Scripture for Life: Sometimes we look at religion as a transactional affair: If we do good, we'll get rewarded, if not, we'll be punished. Thus, like Constantine, we shoot for the best we can get with the least disturbance to other priorities.
Scripture for Life: Concerns about who is in and who is out are as old as nature. As Isaiah, Jesus and Paul knew well, it's hard to free people from their ethnocentrism — the pride being part of an exclusive pack.