Prayer, Peace, and the Sovereignty of God

Prayer, Peace, and the Sovereignty of God Devo Image

“Be anxious for nothing, 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 through Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 4:6–7 (NKJV)

In life, there will always be something to worry about or things that will cause anxiety. There will never be a shortage of troubles in this world.

And even though in today’s passage Paul doesn’t tell the Philippians they’re prohibited to care about worldly matters like providing for their families, preserving their property, or any trial they may be experiencing, they shouldn’t be so overly anxious that they fall apart and become utterly consumed by their cares. Why? Because a great level of anxiety implies a lack of faith and confidence in the Lord and demonstrates a high degree of self-centeredness and self-absorption.

Here, Paul is saying that we can be free from the unbelievably heavy burden of worry and anxiety. Jesus tells us the same when He says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. . . . Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid,” (John 14:27 NIV) “but take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV).

Friends, we can experience the kind of confidence in God that frees our minds from the clutches of anxiety and develops in us such a level of dependence on Christ that His peace sweeps over us. The key to experiencing this peace and confidence is prayer . . . it comes by praying in faith with passion and sincerity.

When we immerse ourselves in prayer instead of our cares, when we genuinely pray for and trust in God’s sovereign will instead of ours and have a sincere, thankful heart, then His Spirit can work in us to free us from worry. As we do this, as we pray “in everything,” He will give us a peace that goes beyond comprehension, a peace we cannot find anywhere else. And that peace will sweep over us; it will comfort our hearts and give us a supernatural confidence and steadiness we never thought possible because it comes through the Spirit of the One who raised Christ from the dead.

As a man who had experienced more troubles than most people can ever fathom, Paul’s words carried serious weight and credibility. There’s no doubt he spoke from experience. And yet, despite everything, the apostle was completely at peace. And it’s a peace even he, a highly educated, logical, intelligent man who had studied the Scriptures his whole life, couldn’t comprehend. His prayer life and connection to the Spirit gave him a confidence in God that transcended any and all circumstances. He knew beyond any doubt that God’s plan is perfect and good.

The peace of God through Jesus guarded and guided Paul’s heart. He wasn’t worried because he had the peace of God, which he received through prayer— and we can have the same thing.

Pause: What was Paul’s prescription for worry?

Practice: Do some soul searching and determine what you’re anxious about. Then pray and trust God!

Pray: Father, You know my heart and all that is happening in my life. I want to lay it all at Your feet, put it all in Your hands, and take the easy, light yoke of Jesus. Help me to trust in You more and more each day and to depend on You and not myself. Fill me with the peace of Christ; may Your power rest in me in my weakness. Amen.

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.  

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