Prayer and Peace By Woodrow Kroll
With my soul have I desired Thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek Thee early: for when Thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
One of the prevailing themes of both Old and New Testaments is the constant presence of peace in the hearts of those who abide in God. The prophet Isaiah said it this way, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3). Literally Isaiah said, "Thou wilt keep him in peace, peace." Or God will keep us in double peace. He will give us a double portion of peace when our minds rest on Him.
Likewise in the New Testament Jesus taught His disciples that His very presence would bring them peace. He said, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth give I unto you" John 14:27). He told His disciples, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
The apostle Paul understood the principle of fixing our minds on God and enjoying His peace. He counseled the Colossian believers to "let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful" (Colossians 3:15). If our minds are stayed upon God, His peace will rule the affairs entertained by our minds. If, on the other hand, we allow our minds to dwell on the cares of this world, God's peace will be far from our thoughts.
It is for this very reason that the apostle told the Philippian believers, "Be careful for nothing" or be full of care about nothing "but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7). The peace of God that garrisons our hearts and minds cannot exist alongside the cares of this life. Each of us must make the decision whether our minds will dwell on those things that trouble us or on the power of God to deliver us. A mind full of care can be a mind full of peace. The difference is only a prayer away.
Isaiah was in the habit of seeking God in the middle of the night. When the thick clouds of sorrow overshadowed his heart and he no longer could endure the disappointments of that day, he did not allow his mind to dwell on those disappointments, but rather on the Lord's deliverance. Rather than lay his head on a pillow of doubt, he would lay it on the pillow of dependence on the Lord God.
Isaiah continued, "Yea, with my spirit within me will I seek Thee early" (Isaiah 26:9). The experience of meeting the Lord in the darkness of midnight and having his mind freed from fear enabled the prophet to face the new day, eagerly awaiting an additional measure of God's peace. Thus he determined that his spirit would seek the Lord early, fully confident that the Lord would answer his prayer: "Lord, Thou wilt ordain peace for us: for Thou also hast wrought all our works in us" (Isaiah 26:12).
The pattern for dealing with the cares of this world is the same for us today. God has designed us to live at peace with Him, with our world and with ourselves. But we can do this only as we turn our cares over to Him in exchange for His ruling peace. Whatever difficulties you faced yesterday and wrestled with through the night last night, give them early this morning to the Lord, and let Him replace your cares with the comfort of His peace. Remember, God's peace is but a prayer away.
Peace! peace! wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above;
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray,
In fathomless billows of love.