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Post a Guard

And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7 AMP)


It never ceases to amaze this writer how he could have read a scriptural passage literally hundreds of times and suddenly, one day like a bolt out of the blue, a new understanding jumps off the page. I should not be surprised because, “What God has said isn’t only alive and active! It is sharper than any double-edged sword. His word can cut through our spirits and souls and through our joints and marrow, until it discovers the desires and thoughts of our hearts.” (Hebrews 4:12)


This morning I was spending some time in prayer for loved ones and I was reading through passages, claiming God’s truth for their lives; praying that in a time of need, that the Spirit would speak scriptural truth into their souls, soul-sustaining truth. I was praying because we all have evil days where we need every grace to simply stand, to stand against the onslaught of the evil one.


There is an opposition to believers you know. When we feel the breath of the evil one on our necks we need Jesus. For my beloved ones this was such a day so I have prayed as diligently as I could for them. Satan mounted an assault against Jesus when he was tempted in the wilderness. Do you think that because we live in a supposedly sophisticated age that spiritual battles are not real? Jesus’ experience was not an allegory; his temptation was a vital teaching to us. Satan will misquote and misrepresent God’s word. Jesus answered temptation by going to and quoting scripture taken correctly and in its proper message. Jesus memorized scripture; enough said. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11)


The fact that we are at spiritual war should not find us quaking in our army boots. Is our opponent powerful and resourceful, yes he is? The evil one, however, and this we must remember, the evil one is not equal to God: he is a creation, a fallen angel.


The evil-one does not have the omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient power of God. He has confederates but the evil-one cannot be everywhere, all the time. The evil-one still answers to the will and authority of the sovereign God. Now this raises a host of questions but that is not what we are about today. What we are about today is this: spiritual battles require spiritual weapons. The greatest spiritual weapon is the means of grace: studying the scriptures and prayer. We have briefly mentioned the scriptures but what we want to examine now is prayer.


Billy Graham is a man used of God and without question one of the most influential believers of our age. Billy has admitted that if he had it to do all over again he would have prayed more than he preached. More prayer, that should make us sit up and pay attention.

Pray to bombard God with requests? Well the verse prior to our verse for today does tell us not to be anxious but to pray about everything. So supplication is commanded, frankly. In other words, if we don’t pray about the issues and needs that concern us we are not being obedient. How is that for a different take on the issue!


Here is the result of all of this prayer, not that we may necessarily receive what we have asked for as far as a specific provision or affirmative answer but that the peace that passes understanding will post a guard on our heart and mind. When we pray with supplication and thanksgiving we have a guard who takes up residence to protect our vulnerable heart and mind. This is a reminder that we fight spiritual battles with protection.


We need protection for our heart because our heart is where we are weakest. “Crooked [is] the heart above all things, And it [is] incurable — who doth know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 YLT) “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)  Our heart is impacted by our life experiences as well as the functioning of our bodies. The heart, the emotions, this is a point of attack against us to make us ineffective and rob us of joy in the LORD. We need our heart to be guarded.


We need protection for our mind because one, it is tied to our heart and two, experience can filter our mind so that we do not see our life and the world correctly. It is really inaccurate to separate out the heart and mind because the heart and mind are so intertwined. You could say that the right brain is the heart and the left brain is the mind. The left side needs protection because if we start with false mental assumptions we will reach a false conclusion. “The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.” (Proverbs 12:5 KJV) When we come to Christ we are given a new mind; we are given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). However, we still need a guard for our minds. Prayer sets the guard.


Praying with A.C.T.S. is vital for our spiritual protection. This acrostic represents Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. The acrostic is not the order of prayer necessarily but it does list the important components of prayer. A.C.T.S. is important because when we pray this way we properly worship the Father and admit the truth about ourselves. We not only supplicate we also show a spirit of thankfulness for what God has already done in our lives, for His providence revealed and that yet unseen. In proper prayer we pray as our elder brother Jesus, “…thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  And so our will begins to align with our Father’s will.


Prayer, to a great degree, places us under the shadow of God’s wings, a place of provision, of protection and safety. Prayer places us under guard underneath the wings of Him who created all that is seen and unseen. No one can take us from Him.


Copyright © 2011 Brian Bailey, Author