The peace we crave

I don’t know what your prayer life is like, but there’s a connection between how you talk to God and how much peace you have.

Have you been praying lately?

Is there restlessness, anxiety, in your heart?

If your answer to the first question is “no,” your answer to the second is probably “yes.”

Notice Paul’s connection between prayer and peace:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

All of us want peace, but many of us don’t have as much of it as we’d like.

Paul makes three important points about it here:

Peace comes from God. It’s the peace “of God,” not the peace “of us.” I think sometimes we miss that point. I find myself believing that if I could just get everything on the outside fixed (less stress, fewer problems, etc.), then I’d feel better on the inside. If I could do it. But it actually works the other way around . . . when I accept God’s peace on the inside—his gift—it helps fix the stuff on the outside.

Peace is inexplicable. It “surpasses all understanding,” which implies that sometimes we won’t understand why things happen the way they do. Because it’s from God, though, it can overcome inadequate explanations.

Peace protects our hearts. “Guard” is a military term, suggesting that peace “stands on duty to keep out anything that brings care and anxiety” (R.R. Melick, p. 150).
And most of us need that. We live in an anxiety-ridden world that’s overwhelmed by the search for something to get rid of the uneasiness we’ve got in our hearts.

But the answer is right in front of us.

Paul urges us to turn everything over to God, accept the peace of Christ, and let him stand guard at the door of our hearts to ward off all anxiety and worry.

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