The entire section of the first nine verses of Philippians is one cohesive unit. The individual thoughts within are interrelated. As mentioned in the previous section, these verses are a gold mine of Bible riches.
In this section, we see the needs of the people of God. First among those needs is a need for a "guard". We need our hearts and minds guarded (v. 7). The phrase "hearts and minds" describes a totality of man's thinking, emotion, reasonings, and doing.
Do we feel the need for a guard? Are we faced with the knowledge of our inadequacies? Do we live out this knowledge in day-by-day dependence on God? We are inadequate; we need a keeper.
We need a keeper for our spiritual selves. We must live with constant awareness of the dangers we face. We face dangers from outside in a wicked world that seeks to tear us down, and dangers inside from remaining sinful tendencies within us, such as pride and self-centeredness.
Also, we need a keeper for our physical selves. We are at risk from ailments, illnesses, and accidents.
Secondly, we need God to be with us. We know, intellectually, that God is with us at all times. We know "where two or three are gathered", God is in our midst. But we need more than just the head-knowledge that God is with us -- we need God's manifest presence, for God to speak to us in an undeniable manner.
Let us not take God's presence for granted! When we meet together for worship, let us be coming together in the earnest hope that He will be there, speaking to us through His word, enabling us to worship by His Spirit, changing our hearts and lives to make us more like Him.
Paul discusses prayer in this section: "in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God." What is prayer, beyond just making requests to God? Real prayer involves entering into a oneness with God. If you have a relationship that allows you to go into the presence of God, that is prayer.
And the result of this communion is "the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension". It has been said that this peace is "felt by all the truly godly, but can be explained by none." Let us seek to enter more fully into this communion and be fuller partakers of this peace!