The Peace from Prayer

Thursday, 08 June 2017

-The title I chose for tonight’s topical teaching is “The Peace From Prayer.”  Last week’s teaching was “The Power of Prayer.” -Our text will be Philippians 4:6-8, and as you’re turning there, I’ll let you know that next Thursday, we’ll have a prayer meeting. -It is my hope and prayer that after this first prayer meeting, we will also begin having an all church monthly prayer meeting.

Philippians 4:6–8 (NKJV) — 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

-I have to confess that while God is working in my life concerning worry and fear, this is an area I still personally struggle with. -If you’re anything like me in this regard and I suspect many of you are it’s greatly encouraging to know we’re in good company. -Replete throughout the pages of scripture, men and women of God, who were mightily used by God, were themselves fearful.

Joshua 1:5–9 (NKJV) — 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

-Joshua is just one of many examples of fear and one lacking courage, even to the point of giving way to dismay and despair. -But God both strengthens and encourages Joshua to not be afraid and instead be in the Word, meditating on it day and night. -This because, faith from which courage and strength come, is the antithesis of fear and faith comes by way of the Word of God.

Romans 10:17 (NKJV) — 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

-I am keenly aware this could be seen as an oversimplification, but it comes down to two things, the Word of God and prayer. -The best illustration I ever heard concerning this is that of a phone; the earphone is God’s Word and the microphone is prayer. -Prayer is more of a dialogue than a monologue.  In other words, I talk to God through prayer, He responds through His Word.

-The reason I wanted to take the time to go into all this is that there’s an inseparable connection between the Word and prayer. -Enter the text before us in which the Apostle Paul links the peace of God to prayer to God and meditating on the Word of God. -What follows are three important yet simple truths as it relates to the peace that comes by way of prayer and the Word of God.

-The first one is to simply pray about everything, meaning everything that concerns you, burdens you and creates anxiety in you.

1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV) — 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Psalm 62:8 (NKJV) — 8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah

-The second one is to thank God for anything, meaning anything you can think of that you’re thankful for whether big of small.

Psalm 9:1 (NKJV) — 1 I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.

Colossians 3:17 (NKJV) — 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Psalm 95:2–3 (NKJV) — 2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. 3 For the LORD is the great God, And the great King above all gods.

Ephesians 1:16 (NKJV) — 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:

-The third is a result of the first two, in that, if you pray about everything, and thank Him for anything, you’ll worry about nothing. -In other words, once you’ve cast all of your fears and anxieties on Him, thanking Him for anything, worry is replaced with peace. -It’s interesting to note that this peace surpasses, even bypasses our human understanding keeping our hearts and minds calm.

Charles Spurgeon -“What is God’s peace? The unruffled serenity of the infinitely-happy God, the eternal composure of the absolutely well-contented God.”

Adam Clarke of this place of peace describes it as that which, “Shall keep them as in a strong place or a castle.”

-It doesn’t stop at praying about everything, thanking Him for anything so I’ll worry about nothing, Paul takes it one step further. -Once our hearts and minds are calm and at peace, we need to fill our minds and even renew our minds with the Word of God. -Specifically, that of meditating on that which is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of a good report and anything that is praiseworthy.

In 2 Corinthians 10:5b Paul refers to this as “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,”