Wednesday, December 28, 2016

“Prerequisites of Peace” Part 2 - “In Everything By Prayer"

"Prerequisites of Peace"

Part 2 - "In Everything By  Prayer"

    "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" (Philippians 4:6-7). 

   The prerequisites, as taught by the Apostle Paul:

1.  The determination to not be governed by fear.
2.  Prayerful fellowship with God.
3.  Supplication, or humbly acknowledging our need for His help.
4.  Thanksgiving.
5.  Specific offering of requests for God's help.

   Having determined to walk in faith rather than fear, we then commit ourselves to consistent fellowship with our Heavenly Father - "in everything by prayer".  A life of peace is synonymous with a life of prayer.  God made us for loving relationship with Himself - "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).  It is therefore impossible to experience genuine rest in the heart apart from ongoing discourse with the Life of our lives.

   Solomon foreshadowed Paul's mandate regarding prayer and peace by calling God's children to "in all thy ways acknowledge Him" (Proverbs 3:6).  Our Lord would have us commune with Him regarding the entirety of our lives.  This presents a great challenge because life in a fallen world so easily distracts us from the only One who can successfully direct our paths.  As we suggested in a recent consideration, prayer does not come naturally, but supernaturally.  The Holy Spirit works in believers to lead us to the altar of fellowship with God.  We play a role in the matter by responding to His working in us, and to the commands of Scripture that call us to seek the presence, involvement, and leadership of the Lord "in everything".  Are there issues of life in which God is dynamically present and involved, but which we have forgotten to acknowledge His promised working?  The peace of our hearts requires our determination to join David in prayerful response to God's assurances: "He shall hear my voice" (Psalm 55:17).

    Realized peace in Christ results from our resolute purpose to walk with Him in regular prayer.  Again, we exist for such loving communion of Heart to heart discourse with God.  The Holy Spirit works in us to provide tranquility of heart and mind.  By His enabling, we must respond if we are to live "by still waters" amid the tempests and trials of life in a fallen world (Psalm 23:2).  Our Father promises peace beyond all understanding.  He mandates a life of prayer as a prerequisite.

"Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you."
(I Peter 5:7)

Weekly Memory Verse
    Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
(II Corinthians 11-14)

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