Do you feel like peace is something you feel less and less of these days? Does it seem like the cares, and troubles, of this world just weigh you down daily? If so, then let me ask you to consider how much time you spend in prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to “pray without ceasing”, and many us do talk to God throughout the day, but how often do we get alone, and seriously give our undivided attention to Him?
A divided mind is the enemy of peace. When we begin to worry, become anxious, and feel overwhelmed, it is because we are concentrating more on life issues, than on the our Father, the giver of life! Let’s look at Philippians 4:6-7:
“6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
When our mind (attention) gets divided, then our focus on the matter gets weaker. We can’t give 100% attention to two things, or more! Satan knows that if he can keep you from prayer, then he’ll keep you from breakthrough! The basic message of these verses is to remind us not to worry, or allow our attention to be divided. Just begin to pray over everything we’re dealing with, and praise the Lord while doing it.
Now, there is a proper way to “Let your requests be made known unto God.” I talk to the Lord all throughout the day (especially in heavy traffic), but there should come a time that we enter His presence with our undivided attention. We must enter our prayer closet. That is where you can determine how much peace you have! We must get away from the noise and cares of the day that are distracting us from Him.
Now, many will say, “I don’t have time”, and I would say if you’re not experiencing peace, then it’s your responsibility to make time! Fast if you have to, forgo lunch and find a quiet place to get alone with God!
There is no price that can be placed on peace. The lack of peace will destroy a person, their occupation and their family. We must move our focus from our problems, to our Savior! Don’t wish your life away by thinking “when I get this behind me, things will get better.” I’m sorry, Satan already has the next distraction lined up for you, and you can only overcome through Jesus Christ… not your efforts!
Peace is not something you find based upon your lack of troubles, but what you find in spite of them! Anyone can feel calm and peaceful lying on the beach, listening to the waves roll in, but the true child of God, will find peace in the midst of the storm! I think this quote from Sheila Walsh explains it best, “Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of Christ.”
Don’t let the enemy steal your time or thoughts. We must work to keep our concentration on Jesus Christ. Verse 7 tells us that this peace comes ‘through’ Him. We must make time to come into presence. How else could we call it a relationship? What if I never took time to be alone with my husband? The marriage would suffer, and probably fail.
Paul said, “In everything by prayer and supplication…” There is no subject matter off limits! Bring all of your burdens and concerns to Him.
Talk to God, and keep Him on your mind always… but please, don’t let that excuse you from personal, intimate time in His presence!
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is the pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg. This a sermon she recently delivered at the church.