Prayer and the Peace of God

Prayer

Firstly, please look at the Scripture links which are far more important than what I have to say. Also realize this is a very short article in contrast to what I wanted to write. There is much to be said on the subject of prayer, but this is not some definitive checklist, hopefully more of a help list in hard times. Love in Christ.

Prayer seems to be difficult for some but can yield us much peace. We struggle with when to pray, what to ask for, how to pray, and how often to pray (and reasons why we should). Feeling badly about our prayer life in general can be a common problem. But what is prayer other than talking to God? We do it sometimes audibly, and sometimes in our head/heart. Likely we all think we probably need to be more successful at it.

Some reasons we might not pray as often as we should.

  • Some may not ask for prayer because they don’t think they’re worthy, (or as worthy) as others to even ask. So please dear friend, don’t apologize for asking for prayer, He asks us to pray always, so just ask.
  • The religious public prayer of others may have turned you off (Luke 18:9-12)
  • OR the heartfelt sincere prayer of another has left us feeling wanting in our prayer lives (Luke 18:13-14). But again, it’s not how we pray but that we talk to Him sincerely. Each one of us communicates differently.
  • Sometimes it may be we just want to pray privately about matters and feel pushed into praying by another (Matt 6:6-8)
  • We don’t think our needs are as important as another’s more serious problems and sometimes feel as if we should stay quiet (wrong!).
  • We may have serious problems and are so beaten up and exhausted we’re just barely breathing and may withdraw because it’s just too hard to even ask.
  • Might just be because we are distracted by the cares of this world.
  • Maybe our relationship with our mate or family is lacking in spiritual matters so we don’t have that support from them in some time talking to God together.
  • We may feel we are lacking in our walk with God, not doing some things we know we should, or doing some things we know we should not. Everyone is lacking in life to some degree at times because we are not perfected in the flesh. So maybe a better thing to do is confess what we know is a problem (admit it) and remember He is faithful and just to forgive us. Move on and ask for help. Yes, continue asking daily if it is a daily problem. We will sin until we die (Rom 7:15-25). Try to remember to walk in the Spirit so you won’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh – Gal 5:16-17 (basically praying more, and learning from Him).
  • Maybe the needs of others overwhelm you because you care. But even with others we need to learn to place them in God’s hands and try not to worry.

How can we find the answer to some of these struggles with His Word?

The Word lets us know that it’s good to pray without ceasing, but how is that possible? 1 Thess 5:16-18. (Remember, He prays even when we’re not). I think the point of that Scripture is knowing that God wants us to talk to Him in all things, so we can start by asking for help to remember to pray for more small things that we don’t even consider praying for. Examine your motives if you’re doubting, but it’s not likely you are asking amiss so you can consume it upon your flesh. So trust in Him.

Proverbs 3:5-6 has always been key to me. Acknowledging Him in all our ways (praying for more things) and leaning on Him, trusting Him even when things just seem bleak. We need to trust Him, Be still (wait on Him), knowing HE is God and HE will be exalted (Ps 46:10).

Waiting on the Lord

Waiting on the Lord when we pray is one of the hardest things to do. Sometimes we tend to wait in fear, and we should not. No matter the outcome we do need to remember God’s goodness in all things, no matter how dire it looks at the time. Dear friends, PLEASE REMEMBER, we have HIM praying FOR us, according to the will of God, and we ARE the called (by His Gospel) and things WILL work together for good in the big picture. HE helps us in our infirmities (weaknesses) when we do not know how to pray.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:26-28

We are God’s Children solely because we have believed (John 1:12)

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:15

No matter what we ‘feel’, the Spirit of His Son is crying out in all of our hearts, Abba Father. (Gal 4:5-7).

He freely gives us all things in great love which nothing, not death, nor this life, nor anything at all, shall separate us from His love. He is at the right hand of God interceding for us.

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:31-39

Knowing God’s Will

We’re afraid to ask for us or sometimes even for others, not knowing God’s will. It doesn’t hurt to ask, knowing above all we want His will. But Philippians 4 gives us some insight, things I’m afraid we tend to gloss over since we’ve heard it so often:

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.  Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.  Be careful* for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (vs. 4-6)

*(Careful here does not mean what it means in English today. A better translation is probably ‘take no thought’ or to not be anxious. In other words, DO NOT WORRY.) Hard thing to do I know. But then it’s helpful to remember that worry is sin. God knows our thoughts always, yet He says we are to let our requests be made known to Him in everything. And two words are used here, prayer and supplication, are quite close and often supplication is translated prayer. A simple way to explain this is like a strong way of encouraging us to pray. Also note we are told twice to Rejoice. And most importantly we’re reminding the Lord is at hand.

And if we do these things then what?

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, >>think on these things Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, >>do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (vs. 7-8)

Oddly, KJV gets ‘do’ right in 1 John 3:9, (regarding ‘doth not sin’), but doesn’t translate ‘do’ quite as well as it could here above (although it creates absolutely no problem, pointing this out for interest). Here in this passage, we see the word for ‘do’ is ‘prasso’ (practice). So above, these things we have learned, received, heard and seen, we are to PRACTICE. So, if you’ve fallen, get back up and keep practicing.

Nike in their advertising blips says Just DO it. But remember it takes practice. And if you are too overwhelmed to do it, ask others in the body to hold up your arm in the midst of the battle (a reminder from a friend Cory recently – Ex 17). And Moses friends gave him a Rock to sit on when he was weary, and held up his heavy hands for him on either side, keeping them steady until the sun went down.  Jehovah-Nissi, (the Lord is our Banner) had them build an altar for that day. Let’s point people to Christ the Rock to rest on. And let’s hold up their weary hands in prayer (and other tangible ways) when they cannot. He gives us His peace (John 14:26-27), as we have His Spirit. Lean on Him.

Having confidence in prayer

Scripture teaches us about believers having more confidence because we’re doing what we should in Christ. This keeps the enemy from successfully accusing our hearts and condemning us, stealing our confidence as children. So we need to keep pressing forward and DO those things that are pleasing in His sight, with His help and the knowledge that we cannot finish in the flesh that which began by His Spirit (Gal 3:1-5). 

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.  Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.  And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

What will confidence accomplish for us?

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. 1 John 5:14-15

But we waver…

It it God Himself that we need to place and leave our faith in. When we doubt, we need to remember it’s GOD we are trusting in. It’s just hard to believe isn’t it because there must be something else we can do?

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.  Matt 6:22-24

Our motives need to be right

Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. James 4:2-3

All of us have likely seen those out there declaring and decreeing things that just aren’t Biblical (misusing Eliphaz’s words in Job 22:28). We can’t do that — we need to know His Word (in context).

Knowing God

If we add to our faith, we’re going to know more about Him. We’re going to have a more abundant entrance into heaven (rewards). Spend time with God today, which will help add to your faith, so you won’t be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of the One who suffered and died for YOU. This is not a simple overnight math equation, but will happen as we humble ourselves to Him and apply our hearts to His wisdom and knowledge.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledgeand to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godlinessand to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (love). 

For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  2 Pet 1:5-11

Healing

Look dear friends, People are not always healed! It is just that simple. Healing manifested the truth of the Christ, His ministry and that of His apostles. If the apostle Paul healed people, he surely had enough faith to be healed, right? But Paul knew the steps in prayer. He asked, he persisted, and yet God gave him an answer that wasn’t the healing he asked for. He was not healed, but he was grateful knowing the end result. It seems from Scripture that Paul’s eyesight was affected. I can’t imagine how devastating that would seem when you want to read and write. BUT, because of it, the power of Christ was resting upon him. That is beyond awe inspiring to me. First we see Paul praying for his needs in 2 Cor 12, then following, in Galatians 2, look at what he tells the Galatians about what good came from his infirmity.

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Cor 12:7-10

Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.  And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.  Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. Gal 4:13-15

So Paul’s infirmity was part of the reason the Galatians received the gospel at the first. I wonder sometimes — how many rewards, how many crowns can Paul now cast at the feet of his Savior because of a temporary infirmity?

We don’t know what the Lord has in store for us. This life is temporary for all of us, we are not promised tomorrow. However, for those of us who have believed, we KNOW where we will spend our tomorrows once we die. Do you?

When you are going through hard times, please remember, who you are (His child) and who He is. Reflect on how good His character is. The good He wants to give us as His children. Ask, seek, be persistent, and trust His goodness and His will as being the best possible outcome. Keep praying, keep asking, take heart!

Don’t give up in asking

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.  Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’  And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man,  yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ”  Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”  Luke 18:1-8

Ask, God wants to give you good things

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Matt 7:7-11

He is compassionate, sympathetic, forgiving, loving, merciful — acquainted with sorrow and grief:

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Heb 4:15-16

For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.  As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.  Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. 14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.  Psalm 103:11-14

He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Is 53:3a

Our God is a loving God who stores our tears, numbers our wanderings and even the hair on our heads. A Father whose song is over us at night (Ps 56:8; Ps 42:7-8). Please really prayerfully re-read Psalm 139:1-18 here to know how God feels about those who are His:

Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.  You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.  For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.  You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.  Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?  If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.  If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,  Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.  If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me;  Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.  For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.  How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.

If you are unsure of where you might go when you die, please consider asking me in a comment. You can ask me not to post it (all comments are moderated). Or click this link and you can read more.

2 Responses to “Prayer and the Peace of God

  • Kimberrly Yahn
    8 months ago

    THANK YOU for such wisdom from the Lord given freely to us…appreciate it and appreciate and am grateful for you Hooly… Love you!!! oxoxox

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