During my years as a teenager, I fluctuated between one of two extremes. When I was happy, I was sky high trying to uplift anyone I came in contact with. Meanwhile, when I was depressed I sucked the life out of a room, seeking to make everyone miserable like me. This roller coaster ride was a sign of my immaturity, allowing my thoughts and feelings to influence how I behaved day to day. About this time, self help books began to take center stage, encouraging readers to put these ideas into action. One concept suggested, you are what you think.
Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God, Philippians 4:6.
By the time I reached college, I began to ponder the connection between thoughts and prayer. I guess you can say I was tired of allowing my emotions to shape who I was as a person. Through a local chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, I was encouraged to start reading the Bible daily. During a retreat, a weekend trip with fellow believers, I began reading the book of Philippians. In the passage above, the apostle Paul urged individuals to pray about troubled thoughts. Instead of becoming overwhelmed by anxiety or worries, prayer provides an opportunity to pour out your heart to God.
And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours], Philippians 4:7.
When thoughts are channeled into prayer, the Bible promises to send a special blessing, the peace of God. According to the apostle Paul, this supernatural sensation calms hearts and minds. This is accomplished by transcending your understanding, able to separate the trivial from what’s really important in life. As I have heard numerous times, “know Jesus, know peace.” However, when you fail to connect thoughts with prayer, peace is unattainable. Therefore, when you are bombarded by a wave of emotions in the future, may you connect troubling thoughts with prayer to find a spiritual peace that surpasses all understanding.
by Jay Mankus