If you’ve been around the church or Christians long enough, you’ve heard someone pray, “Lord, just grant them a peace that passes understanding.”
By all means, this is a rather innocuous prayer. That is, you won’t upset many people by praying it. But what does it mean? What are you really praying?
We often pray it when circumstances are uncertain or answers are lacking. I’ve thought so many times that knowing why something was happening would make it easier to handle, but I don’t think that is true. Knowing why would only make me ask the follow up–then why this way? Why not another way?
So when we seek peace better than understanding, we aren’t seeking peace THROUGH understanding. This peace dwarfs understanding.
Philippians 4:4-9 provides two PR’s of this peace, specifically, how one experiences it.
1. PRayer: v.6 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Tell God what you want, what you hope for, and do it with a spirit of thanksgiving for what He’s done and will do.
2. PRactice: vv.4-5 and 8-9. I won’t type it all out, but v.9 is important. “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Don’t just listen. Don’t just learn. Don’t just watch. Do it. Get out in your life and live what you’re learning and hearing and seeing. Live your way into the peace of God.
These are two action steps for you if you’re in a season of uncertainty or desire clarity. Pray–seek God and talk to Him and listen. Practice–do what you ARE sure of rather than getting bogged down in what you aren’t sure of.
God be with you.