Read Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)
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 minds in Christ Jesus.
According to this verse, what is one benefit of prayer for believers in Jesus Christ?
Have you ever wondered why prayer is such an important part of a Christian’s life? Why does God command us to pray? If He already knows what’s on our hearts and minds, why take the time to tell Him? If He already knows how a situation is going to play out, what is the point of our making requests of Him? Why should we pray?
In today’s verses, Paul answered that question by telling us one way that prayer benefits the lives of believers. He said when we pray, we will experience peace. And not just the kind of peace of mind that an insurance policy gives or that having enough money in the bank might bring. That kind of peace is temporary and limited. Paul said that we are promised “the peace of God” that “surpasses all understanding.” In other words, this kind of peace doesn’t make any earthly sense.
It’s the kind of peace that allows believers to say, “I trust You, Lord” after a terminal diagnosis. The kind of peace that heals broken hearts enough to say, “God, You are still good” even after suffering excruciating loss. It is the “even so, it is well with my soul” kind of peace in the midst of the worst circumstances imaginable.
But to experience this peace, Paul says that we must not worry about anything but pray about everything! I don’t know about you, but for me, being told not to worry is difficult to obey. It is an area that I struggle in. But, I have experienced the truthfulness of this verse.
Paul said that we should pray, supplicate, and make our requests known to God with thanksgiving whenever we pray. When we pray, we should worship Him. We should start off by adoring Him and praising Him. Not because He needs to hear how awesome He is, but because we need to remind ourselves that we serve a mighty God! One who is infinitely capable of solving all of our problems. Isaiah 26:3 confirms that when we meditate on who God is, it quiets our hearts: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
After we worship and adore Him, we need to tell God what is worrying us and share our needs with Him. Again, not because God doesn’t already know but because when we make requests to God, we are placing our problems in His capable hands. When we verbalize our prayers to God, we take our anxieties, worries, and needs and give them to the only One able to do anything about them. The weight of our problems shift from us to Him. The apostle Peter wrote that we should cast our anxiety on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).
Friends, there are so many reasons why we should pray. God commanded us to pray so we pray out of obedience. We pray because maintaining communication is an important part of any meaningful and healthy relationship. We pray because it is an incredible gift! God has allowed us to talk to Him, the Creator of the world and us, lowly humans who keep on messing up. But as if all that weren’t enough, we are promised His peace when we pray. Instead of asking, why pray, we should all be asking ourselves why we don’t pray more often?
Lord, thank You for the gift of prayer. Thank You that I am able to talk with the God of the universe! What an undeserved privilege. And thank You for giving me Your peace—an out of this world peace that guards my mind and comforts my heart. All because Jesus Christ made a way to restore my broken relationship with You. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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