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The Peace of God-Here & Above

Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

How we long to be peaceful people. To possess the peace of God distinguishing us as contented, settled and restful people. A people who behave differently to the culture that they reside in. A people who remain steadfast and immovable despite the ever changing, chaotic times.

Paul was writing to the church in Phillipi that was not unfamiliar with troubled times. He was deeply concerned that their circumstances would endeavor to rob them of the joy and peace found alone in Christ Jesus. And his instructions on how to attain God’s peace are not to be lost on believers today. The tyranny of our prevailing circumstances are just as likely to squander our peace and trust in God if we do not remain faithful to Paul’s words of exhortation too. If our faith is worth anything to us, and to differentiate us from those who have no faith in Christ, we must consider carefully how to apply the above Scripture to our life situation.

‘Be careful for nothing’ can be rephrased, ‘be anxious for nothing’. At all costs we must avoid being harassed or worried or have a wearing care about anything. We are too easily prone to get into a brooding, anxious state where we cannot seem to shift our focus away from what is bringing angst. This is not how we ought to behave. Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones, expresses this sad state of affairs succinctly:

“In this state of anxiety, we spend the whole of our time reasoning and arguing and chasing imaginations. And in that state, we are useless. We do not want to speak to anyone and though we may appear to be listening to others as they speak in conversation, our mind is chasing these possibilities. And so, alas, our testimony is useless. We are of no value to others and above all we lose the joy (and peace) of the Lord.” (Spiritual Depression, Harper Collins Publishers, 1965).

How do we avoid this inner turmoil and reinstate God’s peace? Rather than being anxious about anything, we are to offer everything up to God, through prayer and supplication and thanksgiving. Firstly prayer. This is praise and adoration. Such a worshipful demeanor lifts the attention from ourselves, and focuses it squarely on the Worthy One. God, not our circumstances, is most deserving of our undivided meditation. Putting all else aside, we offer Him our heart in adoration.

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Following prayer comes supplication. Now Paul tells us to bring our petitions to God because offering our requests (cares) to Him is a legitimate part of prayer. So, we bring whatever is on our mind and heart that is concerning us. And we believe that He hears our petitions and will answer them according to His good purposes. There must be no doubt in our hearts of God’s goodness and that He will act in the way that He deems best for our good and His glory. We are not praying for what we want, but what He desires.

Finally, we pray ‘with thanksgiving.’ Despite our petitions and concerns, what can we deliberately thank God for? Once we begin, thanks will flow from us like the ever-increasing gush of water from the faucet. We may be in trouble at the moment, but we can thank God for our salvation, for Christ’s redeeming love, for the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification, for our daily bread, for our dear family. There are, as the song says, ‘ten thousand reasons for our hearts to sing and give thanks!’

True prayer has a most beautiful structure and form of its own. This is the prayer that ignites the peace of God in our hearts, that will keep our heart and mind settled on Christ Jesus, regardless of all else.

The peace of God, which is beyond attainment by human effort, means or understanding, will keep anxiety, worry, fear and panic at bay. Such vices will stay out of our mind and heart and God’s peace will remain anchored there instead. Through prayer, supplication and thanksgiving the Holy Spirit builds the believer’s heart into a fortified stronghold that the enemy will find little success in attacking.

Whatever you are wrestling with just now, whatever situation seeks to rob you of your peace and quiet trust in God, and hinder the life of Christ in you, gather yourself together to pray to the Father. Begin with exaltation and adoration, lifting God high, and declaring His faithfulness and mighty power, in a spirit of humility and submission, offer your cares to Him, for His ears are open to your requests, and then give God the thanks due to Him, knowing that your prayers have been heard, and He delights to give you the graces needed to live a life in glory and praise to Him alone.

May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus our Lord.

About Jennifer Woodley

Jennifer is an Australian freelance writer who lives in a small rural town in sunny Queensland. She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey with Christ through writing and mentoring. Jennifer is a school chaplain, wife, mother of three adult sons and loving grandma of one adorable grandson. More of her writing can be found at www.inhisname6.com and www.faithwriters.com.

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3 comments

  1. Jennifer,
    Thank you for penning this powerful article and message. So important as Christians to pray and be in the moment with God as you do so. D L Moody said “when I pray I talk to God, but when I read the Bible, God speaks to me…” So true – Excellent post my friend.
    God Bless~

  2. Excellent and encouraging words my sister

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