Michael Wilcock

Read: Philippians 4:4-7

In everything . . . prayer . . . and the peace of God. (vv. 6-7)

After the curious link between prayer and “softness” comes a metaphor that is much less puzzling, but will even so repay our close attention: that is, prayer as peace.

We need to focus on the word “everything” in verse 6 of our reading. My friend Joe has complicated problems, and when he and I are focusing on a particular one, the others have to wait their turn. Do they at that point begin to spin out of control?

Of course not. Life may be a jigsaw puzzle with a multitude of pieces, but God knows exactly where every bit of the puzzle is, and how each is designed to fit in with the rest; in what order, and at what speed, and with what purpose, all are eventually to be pieced together. He already has the whole picture in mind, involving many other people besides Joe and me. Because “The Lord is King,” says Josiah Conder’s hymn, “alike pervaded by his eye / All parts of his dominion lie.” When we are told to combine “supplication with thanksgiving” in our prayers, those two terms mean more than simply looking ahead to ask and looking back to thank; the thanking as well as the asking has in view what God is doing in the present and will be doing in the future, because we can with a peaceful heart know that every last detail will turn out to be part of the pattern. —Michael Wilcock

Prayer: Lord, teach me to expect peace in praying, not just after it.