In this installment of Learning Prayer, we are going to be talking about how we can walk into a new life of peace when we start to pray. Before we get started though I hope you would consider sowing into the ministry. Any kind of support helps. Also, my new book is finally out! You can purchase it on Amazon right now.
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 ESV
Today I wanted to talk about one of the most famous verses in all of the Christian world. This verse is often used as a source of comfort when we are going through hard times. It is a reminder of the peace of God. But I have in the past seen people misinterpret this scripture. Let me explain.
When I had first seen this verse misinterpreted, it was during a bible discussion on prayer and communication with God. Now, this was when I was at my old church who in my opinion seemed to struggle sometimes with believing higher. Now as we were talking, the conversation of ‘what is the importance of prayer’ came about and an opinion stood out to me. One brother in the faith said that prayer was great for helping with anxiety, referencing the verse above, but that it seemed to have its limits. Now when I heard this, I have to admit I was dumbfounded and sad about this brother’s opinion on prayer. I wondered, ‘How can you read the Bible and come to that conclusion?’ But I realized later that it was because this brother had seemingly misinterpreted this passage about praying.
Peace in the Power
Now after having reflected on what that brother had said, I realized that this misinterpretation was based on different assumptions. The assumptions of the author of the verse, Paul, and the assumptions of the reader. First, the assumption of the reader. They would read this verse and come to the conclusion that the purpose of prayer is to stave off any sense of anxiety. This is because according to this verse if we pray about what we are anxious over then the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds. Now this is only partially true because the peace of God does in fact come with prayer. But it is not some kind of spiritual opium that just helps you to forget life. Paul was talking about how the peace comes from the power of God! You should have peace from the fact that God has heard your prayer and is moving right now to change the situation!
How we should get Peace
Ultimately, this peace that we have from God comes from knowing and being fully convinced of God’s power and of His goodness. Without having both of those things deep in our heart, we can still have out peace stolen from us. But God is faithful to answer our prayers even when we still have anxiety over the situation. And in time you will come to a point where you have seen too much of the goodness of God. And the peace of God will truly guard your heart and mind.