S198P11 – When God’s people pray: peace controls

Phi. 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

It was just about our turn to go on stage, and I was a nervous wreck.  We were the only kids in the high school play who were still in elementary school, and that got us a little bit of attention during performances.  Our scenes were brief, and so were our lines.  The song-and-dance we performed also was very short, but that was quite a bit for me to handle at that age.  Somehow, I was able to make a transformation once I stepped out from behind the curtain.  The nerves went away, the audience disappeared, and I had finished my scene before I knew it.  Whatever the secret was, I discovered how to turn off those nerves when it mattered and not let them get the better of me.

We have heard it said that the world is a stage.  In many ways, this life is a performance.  The same way fear and anxiety can cripple the actor or the singer, they can cripple us and interfere with the work God has for us to perform.  Just like the stage performer, there is a secret we can employ to have peace in the midst of those emotions.  It is prayer.  We have the option to be led and driven by either worry or by peace.  Actually, we have a whole host of options other than peace, but we always have the option to choose peace instead.  Through prayer with the Lord, He will protect our hearts and minds from those things which try keep his peace at bay.  It is a necessary exchange for us if we want to be fruitful in this life. 

We can picture peace like an article of clothing we pick from the closet when we get ready in the morning.  It is certainly something we want to wear, something with which we want to cover ourselves in this world.  God’s peace, however, also goes a lot deeper than that.  It is like our food, like the breakfast that sustains us as we start to tackle our day.  Like the old hymn says, we want peace to flow through us like a river.  It serves to cover us and fill us so that we are guarded on all sides.  When we are covered and filled with God’s peace, there is room for nothing else.  Father, teach us to walk in your peace at all times, that we would be ready to perform when You call on us.