PEACE

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. (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)

My mother made my brother and I memorise these verses when we were about 8. I now thank her even though I was not enthusiastic about the memorising at that age. These verses came back to me in my adult age as I faced all kinds of trials and tribulations. It was not difficult to cry out before God as I faced those difficult situations. It was the thanksgiving that was hard. Yet, somehow, as I agonised with prayer over those situations, God’s peace in a miraculous way would come upon me. Don’t get me wrong. Prayer is hard work. I believe that despite our consumer approach towards prayer (gimme, gimme, gimme), God still develops his relationship with us. God sees through our failings and with grace connects with us. As the God of peace deepens his relationship with us, the peace of God comes upon us.

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In “Worry Less, Live More”(Thomas Nelson, 2017, page xiii), Robert J. Morgan illustrates the fact that many in society are very conscious of anxiety:

Amazon keeps track of your highlights. When e-book owners mark sentences, the online retailer knows and notes it. Recently Amazon released a list of the most popular passages in some of its bestselling books, such as The Hunger Games, the Harry Potter series, and Pride and Prejudice. Also released, the most highlighted passage in the Holy Bible. I expected America’s favorite biblical portion to be John 3:16, Psalm 23, or the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. But, no, it was a less prominent text, but one that’s striking a deep cord in today’s worried world. It was Philippians 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.

[www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2017/december/3122517.html]
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It is indeed surprising that Philippians 4:6-7 is more read than John 3:16, Psalm 23 or the Lord’s Prayer. Yet, it does show us the importance of prayer in our everyday lives. Therefore, don’t give up. Keep on praying.

Pastor Pye