Praying Through to Peace
There Is a Way to Fully Release Burdens
This teaching on praying through to peace is a practical application that companions the lessons set forth in 'Matters of the Heart,' our free eCourse for spiritual growth and emotional transformation.
All scripture citations are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.
Inward Release and Heart Peace
'Praying through' means that we persevere in prayer until the release and peace come from the Lord and the burden is so fully and finally lifted to Him that we see no reason to take it back. We are actually at peace with the situation God has allowed.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
How the Lord Cultivates a Prayer Life in Us
1. God wants to do something in the world - my world and His.
2. He opens my eyes to an area of concern. I typically I see it as a problem - my problem!
3. I take the concern to heart and begin to worry about it (don't you?).
4. He reminds me to pray.
5. I pray but the worry remains and becomes a burden to me. I just can't trust Him with it.
6. He reminds me to pray through —to really give it to Him, not just tell Him about it.
7. I pray until the burden is lifted out of my heart into His Hands. I have momentarily let it go.
8. He gives me the peace that passes understanding as a sign He has "heard" my prayer.
9. Later I see the concern again, lose the peace, and take the burden back! (Been there?)
10. He reminds me to pray through until I fully accept whatever He may choose to do. I do it.
11. Now that it is finally in His Hands He can have His way with it.
12. Later, sometimes much later, He shows me how the answer has come.
Our God Wants to Go to Work!
The Lord puts the burden on our heart because He wants to act in the situation that concerns us. When we hold on to it, we actually hinder His work. Not only that, but if we aren't trusting the Lord, He often uses the "problem" to work on us - to restore us to surrendering all to Him (Psalm 51:10). When we are trusting, God acts upon that which we have entrusted to Him. When we wait in expectant faith, God works for us, not on us. Such waiting is not resignation; it is filled with bright hope in God.
For since the beginning of the world, men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him. Isaiah 64:4
The main indicator of an effective prayer life is freedom to trust God with all the concerns of life—the peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7). This peace does not come to us without the surrender of our burdens and concerns to Him, as well as our graceless strivings to rescue the concern with our own hands.
Clear Pride out of the Way
We have to commit it to Him for Him to take care of it. Do we really want Him to take charge? Do we really want His will His way - however that may work out? Truly giving our concern to God is what praying though accomplishes. This explains why the enemy is so dead set on defeating us in prayer by getting us to hold on to the burden after we have prayed it. Praying through means that time and time again we will be in a position of having to "bet" our very lives and the lives of our loved ones on God's ability to come through for us. Like Paul we will need to learn how to commit our burdens to the Lord.
...nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. 2 Timothy 1:12
How can the Lord ever prove to us how faithful He is at 'handling' our concerns if we keep them stuck in our own hands? We may not see it at the time, but by 'casting' the heavy burden of worry and anxiety on ourselves, we are saying that we trust ourselves more than we trust God. It is an act of pride not to trust God with our cares and concerns—and go back to trying to “trust” self instead. That's why we are told to humble ourselves under the 'mighty hand of God"—whatever it is that He has allowed that we cannot change—and cast those cares on the Lord. Or do we not believe that He cares for us?
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
This does not mean we don't work, but that we are content to do the part we see that we can do (with His peace in our hearts) and are equally content to leave the rest to Him (rather than worry about it). Ironically, it is only after we trust the Lord with our concern, that He is able to use us as His servants in the troubling situation. Until we surrender to Him, we are secretly seeking our will our way, even if we are doing it in His name. Pray the way Jesus prayed when He was strongly tempted to take control of His life and of His loved ones away from The Father:
...and He knelt down and prayed, saying, 'Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.' Luke 22:41-42
Why "Pray Through"?
Praying through is about two highly important things:
1) Our freedom of spirit
2) God's freedom to act
One More to Explore
Reconciliation with Others Tips on how to live a life of restored relationships.
Interested in Going Deeper?
Consider taking our free eCourse for Healing. We have designed a complete series for personal transformation, 'Matters of the Heart,' to help Christians gain emotional freedom and inner healing. In all there are 24 Main Healing Lessons and 24 Head to Heart Guides to help you bring your heart to God and receive His Great Heart for you in return!