“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).
When I reread this passage recently, I was struck by something I’d never seen before. Paul is instructing us to stop worrying and go to God with prayer and supplication. Then we are to thank Him for the answer. But Paul says nothing about receiving deliverance, a word of direction, miracles, or healing. Instead, he says that we receive a gift . . . the peace of God.
God answers all our requests and supplication with the gift of His peace: “The peace of God will guard your hearts and minds.” In other words, God’s first answer to our every prayer and heart-cry is His peace!
All praying people have one thing in common: No matter how bad we may feel going into our secret closet of prayer, we come out filled with His peace. God has limited Himself to His own government and it is known as the providence of God. He does things here and there, preparing people’s hearts and orchestrating events, but until His providence works out the answer to our porayer, He says, “I’m not going to give you what you think you need but what I know you need — peace of mind and heart.”
Many of us wrestle with the Lord in prayer. We petition Him with many tears; we pound heaven’s gates; we claim every promise. But as the days, weeks, and months go by, we begin to wonder: “Why won’t you hear me, Lord? What’s blocking my prayer? What have I done to grieve or displease You?”
The fact is, God already has said to us, “Here! Here is My peace and it passes all understanding. Take it and let it rule in your heart while I work all things for your good.”