So as I was praying today and asking the Spirit to fill me with His peace today, I got to thinking, I know what peace is, and I know it's a choice, but how do I get it? What is the key to having peace in your life? Obviously there are circumstances beyond our control that threaten to bring anxiety, worry and stress into our lives at any given moment. So what is the key to keeping our peace in the most difficult storms of our life?
As I was praying about this, the Lord reminded me of a verse I have known since I was a child.
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
So you're probably thinking the same thing I was: "Okay Lord, but that still doesn't answer my question. I know your peace is beyond comprehension. But how do I get it?" It wasn't until later when I could look the verse up in my Bible that I got the answer. As you can see, this verse begins with a preposition, which means it is connected to the sentence before it. Guess what that sentence is? It's the key to peace.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6
I know! I had an "Ah ha!" moment when I read it too! The key to peace is prayer. The first part of that verse deals with what I blogged about last night- choosing peace. It says "do not be anxious". We are commanded not to choose anxiety and worry, so it has to be a choice we make, or else we couldn't be commanded not to do it. But then, praise God, we are told what to do, and that is to pray. The Message version of the Bible puts it so plainly and beautifully:
"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."
Now that is an awesome promise of peace! Instead of worrying, we must choose to pray. We must choose to lay our requests and needs before the throne of the King. We must choose to let go, and let God. And when we do, He promises that His amazing, unexplainable peace will come over us and assure us that "all things work together for the good of those who love God."
We all know we should pray. But sometimes I think we believe that God isn't concerned with the little things that worry us. We think it has to be something major or a legitimate issue to bother God with it. Oh how wrong we are! In bearing these burdens on our own and not bringing them before our Heavenly Father in prayer, we are rejecting the peace He so desperately longs to give us. He cares. He wants to bear our burdens. Big or small, He wants us to lay them all at His feet and receive His peace in return.
I have been so encouraged by this revelation today, and I pray you will be too! We were never meant to carry our burdens alone. When the veil was torn and the blood was shed, a way was made for us to have an intimate relationship with God. Through that relationship and our communication with our Heavenly Father, we can lay every worry down before His throne and live in His indescribable peace and presence.
God's given us the key to open the door and live there. What's stopping us?!